Monday, September 28, 2009

Ondoy Pictures: Wrath of the Typhoon in YouTube!

Storm Ondoy Update:

Friends, here is a YouTube video featuring more pictures depicting the wrath of, and the havoc left, by Typhoon Ondoy.

More reads on Ondoy

*Ondoy at UERM
*MMDA Number-Coding Suspended
*Bagyong Ondoy Floods Update
*ABS-CBN Telethon for Ondoy Victims
*Ondoy Floods the Metro

Fund raising efforts for flood victims are still ongoing at ABS-CBN.
Contact info:

Sagip Kapamilya: 413-2667 and 416-0387

ABS-CBN U.S. Foundation (Toll Free): 1-800-527-2820

Sagip Kapamilya Warehouse
(in kind and cash donations)
No.13 Examiner St., Quezon City
Please look for Ms. Girlie Aragon

"The AnitoKid Supports the Bagyong Ondoy Telethon!"

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Typhoon Ondoy Flood Pictures: The Aftermath at UERM!

Storm Ondoy Aftermath Pictures: Friends, here is a YouTube video featuring pictures of the destruction left by storm Ondoy at UERM, a hospital in Quezon City.

Picture credits all go to Ron Dizon.

More reads on Ondoy

*MMDA Number-Coding Suspended
*Bagyong Ondoy Floods Update
*ABS-CBN Telethon for Ondoy Victims
*Ondoy Floods the Metro

"Help and prayers for my kababayans.The AnitoKid."

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Bagyong Ondoy: MMDA Number-Coding System Suspended!

Ondoy Pictures GraphicBagyong Ondoy: More updates!

Friends, here is another update related to the aftermath of storm Ondoy.

In light of the destruction brought about by tropical storm Ondoy, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has suspended the number-coding system for vehicles starting tomorrow, Monday, until Friday.

According to MMDA Chairman Bayani Fernando, the one-week suspension should allow the national and local government to rescue and provide relief to affected areas. It is also geared to speed up rehabilitation efforts, so that life would return to normalcy.

For those not in the know, the number coding system bars private vehicles from using Metro Manila main roads on certain days of the week, based on the number in their license plates.

Ondoy Image
*Pics are not mine.
And I kid you not!
Picture credits: JC Lopez

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Bagyong Ondoy Floods Update!

Ondoy Floods GraphicStorm Ondoy Updates: Here is an update from the Philippine Daily Inquirer, friends. Credits and all go to the article's authors and publisher.

Month’s worth of rain; storm Ondoy kills 40
By Edson C. Tandoc Jr., Nikko Dizon, Marlon Ramos
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Nearly a month’s worth of rain fell in just six hours over Metro Manila Saturday, triggering the worst floods in nearly 40 years, stranding people on rooftops, causing wide-spread blackouts and killing at least 40 people, officials said.

“In my experience, this is the worst that I have seen,” Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro said as he described how authorities grappled to deploy limited resources amid a barrage of pleas for help after Storm “Ondoy” slammed ashore.

The government declared a state of calamity in Metro Manila and 25 provinces in Luzon as the massive flooding paralyzed businesses and transportation.

The calamity declaration allows officials to withdraw emergency money for relief and rescue.

While the weather bureau had predicted Ondoy would hit the country, its severity was not expected.

The massive floods turned wide areas of the metropolis virtually into a sea.

Families from across various sectors, including the middle class living in gated communities, were among those marooned in their homes, many stranded on their roofs.

The Philippine Navy said it was the first time the Navy had received such a huge number of simultaneous calls for help.

Chelo Banal-Formoso, a Philippine Daily Inquirer editor, sent this text for help: “We are in Goodrich Village right next to a creek. Our whole first floor is now flooded almost to the ceiling. Water is still rising. I have a son with autism who needs to be in a place with electricity. My brothers tries but could not get us in ordinary cars.”

Toni Carbonell, NGO administrator, was also stranded with her daughter and her two-month old grandchild. She lives at Block 3, Lot 30, Narra St., Dacon Homes in Cainta, Rizal.

Lanie Miculob, manager of Sy-owned Highlands Prime, was also stranded and lives at 4B Block B Fernandez St., San Francisco del Monte, Quezon City.

Candice Lim, Yes Magazine staffer, who lives in Provident Village, Marikina, sent this SOS via text: “No one is sending help because the current is too strong. Inanod na kotse.”

Waters rise to 5 meters

Commuters plodded through floods that reached as high as five meters in some places, police said, while many motorists were forced to drive around in circles to avoid getting stranded in the surging waters.

Dozens of vehicles stalled in Manila, Makati, Pasay, Quezon City and Taguig.

Several thousand people fled to evacuation centers.

Defense Secretary Teodoro said three people were killed in Muntinlupa City, while two were killed in Quezon City.

Thirty-five other people were killed in Rizal province, Tony Mateo, a member of the Rizal provincial disaster coordinating council, told the Inquirer Saturday night. He said they included 16 people killed in Tanay, 10 in Angono, five in Baras, three in Rodriguez and on in Teresa.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo rode an Army truck to check the extent of flooding around Malacañang. She later took the Light Rail Transit (LRT) to attend a meeting of disaster officials at Camp Aguinaldo.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) reported that at least 90 percent of major thoroughfares in the capital was submerged in floodwaters, bringing traffic in several portions of EDSA (Epifanio delos Santos Avenue) to a stop for hours.

“This is the worst flooding I have seen since I was born here,” said Parañaque City’s 60-year-old Mayor Florencio Bernabe.

Pateros Mayor Joey Medina said his town last experienced floods as severe as Saturday’s when Typhoon “Yuling” pounded Metro Manila in 1972.

“Ondoy brought a month’s worth of rain to Metro Manila in one day,” the spokesperson of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), Nathaniel Cruz, told the Inquirer.

Metro Manila’s average rainfall for September is 391.7 millimeters. In six hours, Ondoy dumped 341 millimeters of rainfall.

“It’s unusual,” Pagasa weather forecaster Bernie de Leon said. It was also the worst case of flooding seen by Pagasa in recent years, he said.

De Leon said the heavy rainfall might be a “manifestation of climate change.” He added: “It’s not conclusive but it could be one of the reasons,” he said.

2,000 evacuees

Nearly 2,000 people were evacuated in Manila and surrounding areas, an initial report from the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) said.

The NDCC reported that as of Saturday afternoon, some 1,300 individuals were rescued in San Mateo, Rizal alone. Houses were swept away as the Marikina River rapidly swelled.

The following provinces were placed under a state of calamity: Aurora, Quirino, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, Pangasinan, Tarlac, Zambales, Pampanga, Bulacan, Rizal, Quezon, Isabela, Mountain Province, Ifugao, Benguet, La Union, Ilocos Sur, Laguna, Batangas, Cavite, Mindoro Occidental, Mindoro Oriental, Marinduque, Camarines Norte and Bataan.

The Philippine Navy spokesperson, Lt. Col. Edgard Arevalo, said he received numerous phone calls from people he did not know, all asking for help, especially as the night crept in.

“Some of them said they were already staying on the roof of their houses. Some were already begging for help, while some were very angry,” he said.

But he explained that responding to all calls for help was difficult considering the limited number of rescue teams, rubber boats and trucks the Navy had.

The Philippine Air Force also could not fly its helicopters in the morning because of the downpour.

Early NDCC reports said that 33 barangays were heavily flooded in Metro Manila, including nine barangays in San Juan City, six in Malabon City and five each in Quezon and Pasig cities.

Thirty-seven road sections in Metro Manila were impassable.

In Bulacan, 25 barangays were under waste-deep water after the Ipo Dam opened three of its gates.

The Philippine Coast Guard and Philippine Ports Authority in Batangas suspended inter-island travel.

More rains today

Cruz said that Pagasa had forecast heavy rains in Metro Manila over the weekend but “we cannot predict the amount of rainfall.”

While a “general improvement” in the weather is expected on Sunday, De Leon said, Ondoy will continue to dump rains in Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon and the Vizayas until early this week because of the southwest monsoon.

As of 5 p.m. Saturday the eye of the storm was spotted in Pampanga.

It was moving 13 kph west northwest toward Iba, Zambales, packing maximum winds of 85 kilometers per hour with gustiness of 100 kph.

Cruz said that Ondoy had picked up speed and made landfall earlier than expected on Saturday.

Ondoy slammed into the boundary of Aurora and Quezon provinces shortly before noon. Pagasa had predicted it would hit land on Saturday afternoon.

Pagasa said Ondoy was expected to be 190 kilometers northwest of Iba, Zambales, by Sunday noon, and 630 km northwest of the province by Monday afternoon.

Mayor Bernabe said floodwaters reached the rooftops of houses in a private subdivision in Barangay Marcelo.

“Although flooding was common in Parañaque, this is the first time I saw our roads under waist-deep floodwaters. The city was practically at a standstill,” he said.

Parañaque officials some 10,000 families in the city were affected or displaced.

In Las Pinas City, Vice Mayor Henry Medina said over 2,000 families fled their homes in eight villages near the Zapote and Las Piñas rivers.

Pateros residents were also surprised at how swift the waters had risen.

“We were really shocked by what had happened. The floodwaters suddenly went as high as six feet in a matter of three hours,” he said.

The widespread flooding also prompted the Philippine National Construction Corp. (PNCC) to close both the north- and south-bound lanes of the South Luzon Expressway to all kinds of vehicles.

Trains also hit

But the storm did not even spare the trains.

MRT3 operations were disrupted from 5 a.m. until 1 p.m. when floodwaters affected the power system of the Quezon Avenue station.

Operations were back to normal after 1 p.m.

Over 500 families were evacuated in Quezon City because of severe flooding as Mayor Feliciano Belmonte Jr. appealed to residents in low lying barangays to go to higher grounds.

Several families in Manila also evacuated to higher grounds.

“The Estero de Paco overflowed leaving the area submerged in knee-deep floodwater,” Jay dela Fuente, chief of the city social welfare office, said. “This is the second time that the estero overflowed. The first time was during Typhoon Frank.”

Low-lying Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas and Valenzuela are used to floods but residents were still surprised by the surge of floodwaters Saturday and by the speed with which the waters buried roads up to neck deep.

About 80 to 90 percent of Caloocan City was under water.

Public safety and traffic management chief Alfonso Sta. Maria said this was the worst flooding experienced by the city, submerging majority of its 188 barangays in five feet of waters, if not higher.

Telethon updates for storm victims

Sagip Kapamilya: 413-2667 and 416-0387

ABS-CBN U.S. Foundation (Toll Free): 1-800-527-2820

Sagip Kapamilya Warehouse
(inkind and cash donations)

No.13 Examiner St., Quezon City
Please look for Ms. Girlie Aragon

"Support the Bagyong Ondoy Telethon! The AnitoKid!"

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Bagyong Ondoy Floods the Philippines! More Updates! ABS-CBN Telethon!

Bagyong Ondoy GraphicI have been on the Internet computer network since this 7 AM today – searching for news on the status of my kababayans left homeless and stranded by the wrath of Bagyong Ondoy. Like my television set, my computer screens are filled with images of people struggling to cope with the destruction left by Bagyong Ondoy, e.g., flooded streets and submerged 2-story houses, countless cars piled on top of each other, drowned victims, and search for missing persons.

Then I came upon this news article from the Philippine Star newspaper, “GMA used P800-million emergency fund for foreign trips,” published August 15, 2009.

I don’t know what to think anymore. Instead, I’ll try to focus my efforts on the fate of my kababayans.

There is an on-going telethon at ABS-CBN Channel 2 for my affected kababayans. I believe the telethon is also being shown on ABS-CBN’s The Filipino Channel (TFC) cable channel. To everyone reading this, please help make the telethon a success – all for my kababayans. After all, we make a living by what we get. But we make a life by what we give.

Contact info for the telethon:
Sagip Kapamilya: 413-2667 and 416-0387

And for friends who would still like to read the post on “GMA used P800-million emergency fund for foreign trips,” here it is in its entirety.

President Arroyo used up the government’s P800-million contingency fund for emergencies like calamities for her frequent foreign trips, Bukidnon Rep. Teofisto Guingona III revealed yesterday.

“She exhausted not only Malacañang’s travel funds but also the P800-million appropriation for emergencies in the 2008 national budget,” he told radio station dzMM.

He said he based his revelation on a Commission on Audit (COA) report submitted to Speaker Prospero Nograles this week.

“I have a copy of the report. An assistant commissioner of COA even briefed us on their shocking findings,” he said.

Guingona said the COA findings show that the 2008 contingency fund was not enough for foreign travels and Mrs. Arroyo had to augment it by P120 million.

“The augmentation was also exhausted,” he added.

Guingona also said the President overspent for her foreign travels between 2003 and 2007 by P1.6 billion.

She has only P1.1 billion under the annual budgets but she spent P2.7 billion over that period, he said.

He said the House of Representatives should have discovered the excess spending during the budget hearings.

“But the House is dominated by the President’s allies, so they just turn a blind eye,” he said.
He accused the President of violating the annual budget law “because she could not augment what Congress had approved and authorized her to spend.”

He said he would demand during the forthcoming budget hearings details on how and when Malacañang’s travel funds and the appropriation for contingencies were used.

Mrs. Arroyo’s latest foreign travel was her weeklong working visit to the United States two weeks ago.

It has become controversial largely due to at least two expensive dinners the President and her entourage of more than 50 enjoyed in posh restaurants in Washington and New York City.

Sen. Francis Escudero has criticized Mrs. Arroyo’s frequent travels abroad, saying she has spent more than P3 billion in taxpayers’ money for them.

Before her latest US visit, she “circumnavigated” the globe by flying to Tokyo, then to Los Angeles, Colombia, Brazil, Dubai, and Hong Kong before returning to Manila, he said.

According to former Senate president Ernesto Maceda, Mrs. Arroyo has spent a total of P5.5 billion for more than 50 foreign trips she has made since 2001.

In a recent television interview, Maceda said appropriations in the annual budgets for the President’s trips totaled P3.3 billion.

“In addition to these, there are contingency funds that could be used for foreign travel. Mrs. Arroyo has realigned a total of P2.2 billion of these funds for her foreign trips,” he said.

He said he got his data from the Department of Budget and Management and the Senate finance committee, of which he was chairman for five years.

He added that Escudero’s P3-billion figure apparently did not include realignments from the contingency funds.

Meanwhile, Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez confirmed yesterday that President Arroyo and her large entourage had another expensive dinner in New York City other than the controversial $20,000 meal at the posh Le Cirque French restaurant.

“Yes, there was a second dinner in New York. But I was not there. I had other engagements,” he said.

He could not say where it was exactly or how much the presidential entourage paid.

Text messages purportedly coming from a staff member of the Philippine embassy in Washington claim that Mrs. Arroyo’s party enjoyed two dinners at Le Cirque.

The embassy supposedly paid for the New York City dinners, including the controversial meal on Aug. 2, for which Press Secretary Cerge Remonde claimed Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez shelled out $20,000.

The messages also claim it was the embassy that paid for a $3,500-a-night suite for the President and 60 $950-a-night rooms for her congressional companions at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, where former First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos used to stay.

Suarez and Rep. Romualdez are among Mrs. Arroyo’s favorite congressional companions whenever she travels abroad.

On Thursday, Suarez claimed that he was the one who paid $15,000 for steaks and lobsters at a Washington DC restaurant last July 30.

COA audit pushed

For a left-wing lawmaker, the Commission on Audit should form a special audit team to review the “lavish” spending of President Arroyo in her US trip.

Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño personally went to the office of COA chairman Reynaldo Villar, and handed him a two-page letter containing his request. He said he merely wanted the “whole truth about the controversies surrounding the US trip.”

He also invoked Republic Act 6713, or the Code of Conduct for Public Officials, which may have been violated by government officials who had partaken of the expensive meals in New York and Washington.

“Like most of our countrymen, I wonder, what other lavish expenses were made by the Philippine delegation?” he asked. Casiño finds the meal expenses “irregular, unnecessary, excessive, extravagant or unconscionable even if bills were footed by a private entity.”

Casiño, fellow Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo and Gabriela Rep. Liza Maza filed House Resolution 1315 that seeks to direct the House committee on good government to conduct an inquiry on the matter.

Casiño said it is well “within the jurisdiction of COA to determine, through a special audit, if public funds were irregularly used and if laws and policies were violated.”

Anakpawis Rep. Joel Maglunsod said Malacañang must present to the public a detailed accounting of all expenses of the President’s state and working travels abroad, including her latest trip to the US.

“The people deserve to know how much the President spent for her foreign travels,” he said.
“The expensive dinner at Le Cirque and the meal at Bobby Van’s Steak House in Washington are just the tip of the iceberg. Mrs. Arroyo and her entourage are definitely spending more than what they should during their junkets,” Maglunsod added.

“Whether the meals were paid for by private individuals or government officials, Mrs. Arroyo has a lot of explaining to do about her expenses during her trips and her swelling wealth,” he said.

“It is evident that Mrs. Arroyo and other public officials joining working and state visits violated Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees,” Maglunsod said.

No excuse

“The report that the consulate in New York has been asked to foot the bill is disturbing, and if true, exposes the sham behind Malacañang’s claim that taxpayer’s money was not spent for the Le Cirque dinner,” Makati City Mayor and opposition leader Jejomar Binay said.

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Typhoon Ondoy Floods the Philippine Metro! Luzon Flooded!

Ondoy Flood GraphicTyphoon Ondoy floods the Pool Capital of the World!

It was around 9:30 AM when I started the car to go out and participate in a tournament at the billiardsHobbies Billiards Hall in Macapagal Avenue, Pasay City. I noticed that the first street after the village’s gate was flooded. It wasn’t the ankle-deep water that surprised me – ‘twas the fact that the street was flooded! ‘Twas the first time I’ve seen the street as such! I decided to drive back to my house and wait for the weather to clear up.

But clear it did not! The rainfall brought about by tropical depression "Ondoy" to Metro Manila and nearby areas in a span of six hours was the most in recorded history! It even surpassed the previous record for the Pool Capital of the World in 1967! And I kid you not!

The amount of rainfall from Ondoy from 8:00 AM to 2:00 Pm measured 341 millimeters, breaking the record for the highest 24-hour rainfall of 334 millimeters in the metro recorded by Pagasa in June 1967. The amount nearly equaled the Philippines’ average monthly rainfall. And it is still raining as I’m writing this!

Ondoy Flood ImageA thousand thoughts rushed through my mind as I watched on TV images of flooded streets all over the metro and throughout Luzon. These include stranded commuters and families, crying children, strong currents, power outages, overflowing dams, rescue teams, rubber boats, National Disaster Coordinating Council, weather bulletins, unity, helping hands, much-needed relief goods, public order, poor drainage system, pollution and garbage problem, climate change, and more!

Prayers to my affected kababayans.

Please stay safe, friends!

Ondoy Flood GraphicOndoy Storm Update:

At least 25 provinces of Luzon including Metro Manila are placed under state of calamity by the government.

Weather bulletin from Philippine Atmospheric
Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA): Signal No. 2 remains in Aurora, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, Tarlac, Zambales, Pampanga, Bulacan, Rizal, Northern Quezon, and Polilo Island.

Signal No. 1 is up for Isabela, Mountain Province, Ifugai, Benguet, La Union, Ilocos Sur, Laguna, Cavite, Batangas, Mindoro provinces, Lubang Island, Marinduque, Camarines Norte, Bataan, Metro Manila and the rest of Quezon.

Typhoon Ondoy continues to move with a maximum sustained winds of 85 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 100 kph. It is expected to leave the country’s area of responsibility by Monday morning.

Licensure Examination for Teachers in Metro Manila on Sunday, September 27, 2009 is postponed.

Bar exams scheduled for September 27, 2009, is post
poned to October 4, 2009

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Sunday, September 6, 2009

World Cup of Pool Finals: Efren Reyes & Django Bustamante vs. Ralf Souquet and Thorsten Hohmann!

World Cup of Pool GraphicThe World Cup of Pool 2009 Finals is just about to start, billiards buddies and pool players! We are definitely in for a treat! And I kid you not! Team Philippines vs. Team Germany - it’s Efren Bata Reyes and Francisco Django Bustamante against Germany’s Ralf Souquet and Thorsten Hohmann!

It’s a Race-to-11 Finals, everyone! Referee is Michaela Tabb (Scotland). The PartyPoker.Net’s World Cup of Pool Finals – I’m watching it live as I type this rack-by-rack account!! RAKRAKAN NA!

Team Germany is introduced first, Ralf and Thorsten, respectively.

The Pride of a nation – Team Philippines, then make their entrance, i.e., Efren and Django, respectively.

Ceremonial break by World Light Flyweight Champion Brian Viloria - a miscue – everyone laughs! He is given a second chance. :)

Rack #1
Thorsten wins the lag of the Race-to-11 Finals!

About 12,000 people are watching the match.

A very good break by Germany. Everything is laid out fine.

A horrible miss by Ralf on the 3 ball! I guess it must be the time pressure!

Efren and Django briefly work out their strategy – they decided to play safe (possibly the best option at this point in time).

Germany successfully hits the 3-ball. Efren then pockets the 3, and this is an easy layout for Team Philippines! Perfect cueball positioning every shot! Django pockets the 9-ball in the corner! Efren and Django exchange several high-5s!

Score: 1-0 (Team Philippines)

Rack #2
Winners break. Django breaks from the left side of the table – it’s an illegal break – the 3-ball barely passes the headstring. Django pleads his case, but the rule needs to be followed. It has been applied to everyone.

The idea behind the rule is to put an end to the soft break, which tends to bring out boring games.

Django really looks upset as Team Germany starts to clear out the table.

A difficult cut shot on the 7-ball has Thorsten call for an extension. He tries to pocket it in the left top corner – a risky decision in my book. Thorsten misses! The crowd claps in glee!

It’s Efren for the 7-ball; he pockets it the corner. Django for an easy 8 in the corner and leaves the cueball for a perfect position for the side. Efren pockets the 9! Great drama here in Manila!

Score: 2-0 (Team Philippines)

Rack #3
Things are not going well for Team Germany is this rack. The Philippines’ bests are in tune with each other. Basic shots from Django and Efren on this one. And it’s a 3 game lead for Team Philippines as Django sinks in the 9! The crowd goes bonkers!

Score: 3-0 (Team Philippines!

Rack # 4
Django breaks – another illegal break! Django is now really upset!

Tabb instructs everyone to keep quiet.

Efren opts for a push out. Team Germany needs this one badly. It’s going to be a battle of safety, friends!

A nice safety by Thorsten hasthe cueball behind a 4,7 cluster! Awesome!

Django successfully hits the 1-ball, though.

Ralf shoots a safety on the 1-ball, which Efren counters! Hohmann then hits the 1-ball via a 2-rail shot.

Django pockets the 1-ball in the corner. Efren softly hits the 2-ball to hide the cueball behind the 8-ball – but effort fails.

The table is now wide open for Team Germany to make the board – and score they did with Ralf pocketing the 9-ball in the corner.

Score: 3-1 (Lead by Team Philippines)

*People are going up and down the escalators over and over again to have a better view of the game.

Rack #5
Ralf breaks this time – two balls down with the cueball almost scratching in the corner pocket! Everyone is holding their breath as the cue ball approached the pocket! Then a low moan!

Hohmann opts for a push out. Django tries a safety of the 3-ball? He lefts the 3 hanging, though. It’s Team Germany on the table again. This one’s going to be an easy-pickin’ table for ‘em. Ralf pockets the 9-ball to cut down their deficit.

Score: 3-2 (Team Philippines leads)

Rack #6
Thorsten breaks – it’s an illegal one!

Efren fails to pocket a difficult 1-ball in the corner!

Ralf plays a safety on the 1-ball, leaving Team Philippines on the defensive now. Django successfully hits the 1-ball. Thorsten goes for a 1-9 carom but misses!
Efren pockets the 1-ball to the delight of the crowd! It’s the master at work! It’s a nice layout now for Team Philippines.

Efren pockets the 9-ball in the side for a 2-rack lead.

Score: 4-2

Rack #7
Efren breaks – 2 balls go in! A terrific kick shot on the 1-ball has changed the complexion of the table - this rack will be easy for ‘em as both players unleash impeccable control on the cueball! Django pockets the 9-ball.

Score: 5-2

Rack #8
Django breaks – a legal one this time! However, no balls went in. I noticed he put in a little more power in this break.

Thorsten fouls! It’s a scratch in the side pocket! Wow! Now, there’s a possible 1-9 combination for Team Philippines! However, Efren doesn’t go for it – and decides to pocket just the 1-ball in the side. I see his point here – table layout is easy, especially with ball in hand!

But wait! Django fails to pocket an easy 6-ball in the corner as he tries to kill the cueball for the 7-ball! Indeed, it is a sorry miss! How things turn out for 9-ball!

Team Germany finishes off the last four balls.

Score: 5-3

Rack #9
Ralf breaks dry for Team Germany. Django calls for a push out. Team Germany gives it back to Team Philippines. Django goes for a safety on the 1-ball, hiding the cueball behind the 7-ball. Thorsten goes for the jump, but leaves the table open for Team Philippines.

Efren unleashes a very nice shot on the 5-ball, which saw the cueball hit 3 rails for a perfect position on the 6-ball for Django! Awesome!

Efren feels the pressure as he misses on the 7-ball! It’s a tough grind at the point in time, friends! This one is going to cost - one cannot make such mistakes when you’re playing against Ralf and Thorsten – who successfully cleans up the rest of the rack.

Score: 5-4

Rack #10
Thorsten downs three balls on the break, with a clean shot on the 2-ball. Everything is laid out well in this particular rack, IMO.

A near miss by Hohmann on the 3-ball going into the corner pocket has the crowd gasping! The crowd gasps again with another near-miss by Ralf on the 4-ball

Germany ties the game!

Score: 5-5

Rack #11
This is turning out to be quite a showdown between the two teams! IT IS never easy to win championship!

Nothing down on the break for Ralf! It’s a difficult rack for Team Philippines. Efren puts a very good safety on the 2-ball – thought-provoking! The cueball is nicely tucked behind the 8-ball, making a jump shot impossible.

Team Germany opts for an intentional foul – putting the 6-and 8-balls in cluster. I call that experience!

Django pockets the 2-ball in the side, leaving a difficult shot on the 3-ball – a very long shot! Efren pockets the 3-ball. Django does a safety on the 4-ball, leaving Ralf with a difficult kick shot via the short rail. Souquet misses.

Efren makes the 4-ball but leaves Django a difficult angle for the 5-ball. Django tries to kick it in – but to no avail – the 5-ball is left hanging in the corner pocket. Team Germany will finish this one – easily – and takes the lead for the first time.

Score: 5-6 (Team Germany leads)

Rack #12
Thorsten Hohmann breaks this time. He pockets the 8-ball. Ralf fails to down the 1-ball as The Kaiser tries to cheat the pocket!
It’s Team Philippines back on the table. Efren and Django will take this one, no problem balls as far as I could tell.

But wait! Efren misses on an easy 6! He got up from the shot too quick! And he knew it! Luckily, the 6-ball is left in an awkward position near the side pocket!

Thorsten fails to pocket the 6-ball via a difficult reverse bank try on the bank!

Efren pockets the 7, with Django cleaning up the 9-ball in the corner pocket! (It was a near miss on the 9-ball, which had the crowd gasping and had Django shuffling!)

Indeed, it’s a thrill ride in this Race-to-11 Finals, friends! It couldn’t get any better than this! WOOOO!!!

Score: 6-6

Efren is swamped by fans as he tries to make his way to the men’s room! Fans with cameras, programs and all flock the Magician!

Rack # 13
Efren breaks this time. You could just feel the drama and excitement in the air! And I kid you not!

A difficult rack to begin with has both teams going for safeties, until the table
Is left open by Team Philippines for Team Germany.

*Ralf almost scratches on the 8-ball!

Score: 6-7 (Team Germany leads)

Rack #14
Ralf breaks dry this time. Problem balls include a 2-7 cluster.

Efren plays a safety on the 1-ball, putting whitey behind the 2-7 cluster!

Hohmann successfully hits the 1-ball via a bank shot.

A poor position on the 2-ball from Efren, which Django subsequently missed to pocket in the corner, has Team Germany back on the table.

Team Germany scratches on the 3-ball!

A cut shot on the 5-ball by Efren is a miss! I could tell Efren is very frustrated at this point in time. The pressure is tremendous!

Who will survive as the World Cup of Pool championship hangs in the balance?

Rack #16
A tough battle of safeties characterizes this rack. I could see the strain on the faces of members of both teams. This is the longest rack of the Finals, everyone.

A spectacular kick shot from Django on the 3-ball has the crowd roaring! No! Efren misses on an easy 4-ball and leaves it for easy picking on the side pocket!

It seems all is well until Ralf misses on an easy 8-ball! The pressure is on!

Django, instead of trying to pocket the 8 via a difficult rail shot, puts it in excellent safety! Awesome! Thorsten has no choice but to try to hit the 8-ball, with the cueball hiding behind the 9-ball! This is a pool match like no other!

Efren pockets the 8. The crowd is cheering for Django for the 9! Django misses! It is all too much to bear – for everyone! The cue ball stops on the short rail – opposite that of the 9-ball – a very difficult shot!

However, it’s Thorsten on for the shot! He strokes his cue. Takes aim. And shoots! It’s in! Wow! This guy is good! He is just pure excitement!
Team Germany now has a 2-rack advantage in one of billiards’ most prized titles!

Score: 9-7 (Team Germany leads)

Rack #17
Ralf does an illegal break on this one. Django leaves the 1-ball hanging in the top corner pocket. Not a pretty layout this time for both teams.

Thorsten misses on the 5-ball, which Efren pockets via a reverse bank.

Team Philippines cleans up!

Score: 9-8 (Team Germany leads)

*I just love Ralf’s custom cue! A beautiful work of art!

Rack #18
It’s for the tie! It’s an illegal break for the Magician.

A great shot on the 2-ball by Efren leaves Django with a perfect position for the 3-ball. However, Django falters! Too many errors from both camps could only mean one thing – the pressure is one!

Efren makes an amazing kick shot on the 4-ball, which left the crowd gasping for more! The strain on Efren’s face is very noticeable!

Kaiser on the 5-ball – the ball fails to go in the pocket by a hairline! Oh boy!
I’ve never seen anything like this before!

Efren pockets the 5. Django the 6 – but leaves Efren on the wrong side of the table for the shot! Django is all frowns now because of that! Efren, summoning all his might – does a 7-8 combination – which wows the crowd! Grabe!

Django pockets the 7, and Efren ties the score by pocketing the 9 in the corner! Everyone goes wild! You couldn’t hear yourself think!

*It’s the first time I’ve seen Efren with an expression he has on right now. He is visibly “stressed” by the pressure placed on him and Django! Nothing is easy at this point in time!

Score: 9-9

Rack #19
The Philippines to break! Django takes aim. Fires! It’s a dry one!
Real pressure here right now – for both squads!

The Kaiser does a 2-6 combi – and with authority!

Team Germany looks composed now. Very much composed. It could be because of the layout of the table? But not until an uncharacteristic big miss by Ralf Souquet on the 5-ball!

And what a shot by Efren on the 5-ball for the side-pocket! It had to avoid the 8-ball by a hairline! WOW!

It’s an easy clean up now for Team Philippines! We are on the hill! One more and we will have in our hands the World Cup of Pool, including a historic first – 2x World Cup of Pool Championships by Efren and Django!

Score: 10-9 (Team Philippines is on the hil!)

Rack # 20
Efren breaks! It’s Team Philippines’ last break! An illegal and dry break!
A push out has Team Germany giving it back to Efren and Django.

Django opts for a safety on the 1-ball? Team Germany counters. Efren hits the 1-ball successfully. Ralf now has an open shot for the 1-ball. Ralf calls for an extension! Every one is quiet! You can just feel the tension!

Ralf goes for a safety on the 1-ball! Very nice, if I may say so!

Django counters, which earned him a high 5 from Efren. Team Germany hits the 1-ball, but leaves the Filipinos a chance to open up the table!

Efren hits the 1-ball and caroms and pockets the 2-ball! Awkward position for Django this time. However, Lady Luck is smiling down on him, as Bustamante’s shot turns out into a safety for Team Philippines!

Another counter from Ralf! This is getting to be a headache for all members of both teams!

A stop shot from Efren has the crowd in ooohs and aaahs as Efren makes body language as of trying to shake of signs of being nervous!

Django’s excellent position for the 3-ball could be the clincher here! But wait! Efren’s position for the 4-ball, after pocketing the 3-ball, leaves doubts on everyone’s minds! Django puts the 3-ball into safety. He is not a happy man at this point in time.

A shot and near scratch by Ralfhas everyone holding their breath!

Efren plays a lockdown safety on the 4-ball!

Thorsten successfully hits the 4-ball, but leaves the table open for Team Philippines! We are going to win this! And I kid you not!

Django makes a very difficult 6! Efren pockets the 7 and takes the ball around the world for the 8-ball! A perfect position for Efren for the 9! And WE WIN!!!

Efren dances and grooves! Django gives high 5’s! Django lifts Efren in the air! The crowd goes wild! WOOOO!

Efren and Django are now 2-time World Cup of Pool Champions! It’s a historic first! Awesome!!

"Efren & Django - simply an awesome tandem! The AnitoKid"

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