kiko_alcantaraFrancis Casey “Nino” Alcantara from Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines will play for championship in the Junior Boys’ Doubles – Finals on Saturday Jan 31, 2009 at 1:00 PM, Melbourne time.

 Alcantara and his doubles partner, Cheng-Peng Hsieh of Taipei, reached the finals after outlasting the Austrian duo of  Maximilian Neuchrist & Tristan-Samuel Weissborn with 7-6(4) 6-4 in the Semifinals match .

 Nino Alcantara also played in the Junior Boys’ Singles but dropped his first round match to his Swedish opponent Daniel Berta (6-3, 6-4)

 Since teaming with Cheng, the pair notched 3 straight wins againts various opponents, starting with the pair of Toni Androic (CRO) & Sudarwa Sitaram (IND) on a 6-3, 6-4 steamroll. Next were John Morrissey (IRL) & James Chaudry (GBR) with 6-0, 6-3 victory. 

 In the Quarterfinals match, Alcantara & Cheng launched a blitzkrieg against the German pair of Kevin Krawietz & Dominik Schulz, 6-4, 7(7)-6(5)

 Alcantara and Cheng are both seeded seventh in this season of the Australian Open.

Nino was accompanied by his mom, Sarah, in this tournament.


UPDATE: Sat Jan 31, 2009

The pair  of Francis Casey Alcantara and Cheng-Peng Hsieh of Taipei continued their awesome winning streak in the 2009 Australian Open’s Junior Boys’ Doubles by overwhelming the pair of  Mikhal Biryukov (RUS) and Yasutaka Uchiyama (JPN) in 6-4, 6-2 victory in the championship round.

Alcantara, nicknamed “Nino” (Ninyo), is ranked 29th on the ITF Juniors Ranking. Cheng is 30th.

This is Alacantara’s 4th Doubles championship and his first win with Cheng as partner.

This is the second time, actually, that Alcantara and Cheng were partners in Doubles. Their first partnership ended in a quarterfinal loss in the ITF/LTAT Junior Championships in Thailand last March 2008.

The Doubles win should be an advance birthday present for Nino on February 4th.


Australian Open Juinor Boys' Doubles Champions -ALcantara and Hsieh. Photo from


RP boy triumphs in Aussie Open-

I have nothing against ‘foreign investments and tourism’ in the Philippines. Their money spent in the Philippines is surely a big help o our economy.

The problem really is the abuse of these foreigners to our fabled ‘Filipino hospitality’.

Oops, before anything else, let me say that this is not another Korean-bashing nor a flicker of xenophobia, but i have my own first-hand observation on the topic.

After the Chinese, the Koreans have become the number one ‘blight’ in our nation’s landscape. I tell you, I am not the only one commenting on this “Korean blight”. In fact, the Koreans have become adept in circumventing our laws, from real property ownership to payment of minimum wage laws.

In Cagayan de Oro City alone, the Koreans have taken over the ailing Pueblo Golf and Country Club. The locals complained about the arrogance of the Koreans in dealing with local staff and players. You know what they say, If Koreans are playing behind you, they will not even shout “fore” before hitting their golf balls while you are still in the fairways.

The Koreans have also abused the ‘christian missionary’ work. Their is this Emmanuel Mission School, a Korean funded school supposedly for the converted members of their congregation, especially the low-income families. They even had a school bus to pick up their students. As it turned out, the school bus is being used by Koreans coming in as tourists, under the guise of missionary work. You will see the bus inside the Golf course, outside Korean restaurants and mega malls. My ‘bubuwit’ said he never saw this bus used for their local congregation.

Of course, we heard how Davao City Mayor Duterte kicked out the Koreans for misbehaving in the city and literally spitting on our laws and rights.

So the Koreans left Davao City, much to the chagrin of Rep. Prospero Nograles. They went to Cebu City, and voila!. If you’re a first-time visitor to Cebu, you wil think it is a Korean province. Koreans everywhere. Rows of restaurants, beer houses, massage parlors… They pay even much lower wages than Gaisano Cebu. Even hold payments of wages for 3 months.

Sure, we acknowledge again their investment. But surely, we didn’t say that they can abuse us because of it.

So why is it that almost all local government officials are willing to sell their city and constituents just to entice Korean investment?

LGUs should balance the need for foreign investment and the protection of our laws. Take it from Mayor Duterte.

How do you like feeling a slave in your own country?

Here are some comments from other bloggers about the Koreanization of RP.

 But the high number of South Korean visitors also has a downside. A number of conflicts have arisen between these visitors and local residents. A country club once posted the sign “No Koreans allowed,” which has since been removed. In Baguio City, Filipino golfers refer to Camp John Hay as ‘Kim Jong Hay’ because there are more South Koreans than locals in the recreation center. The Korean Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines admits that there are some South Koreans “who are rude, not behaving well and disturbing Filipino culture and the living environment.”


I have heard of some instances in which the churches where already there before the business-oriented migrants came in. There is a growing number of Korean missionaries who come to the Philippines ? a predominantly Roman Catholic nation ? to attract the locals to their Protestant denominations. While the Roman Catholic clergy views these activities with a great sense of suspicion and dismay many ? mostly needy ? Filipinos are open to the foreigners: “The poor go to the Korean churches because they give handouts such as (warm) meals,” said Lorna Makil of Silliman University in Dumaguete, who has conducted field research on the Korean population in her town. According to this scholar, the Korean community in Dumaguete is “a closed group” with very little interaction with the local people. Ms. Makil attributes this isolation to communications problems, as initially only very few immigrants know English, not to mention the local dialects.


There are actually two kinds of Koreans coming to the Philippines. There are the well-mannered and educated Koreans. But there, too, are those who come from the “bundoks” of South Korea. They are uncouth, ill mannered and abrasive, throwing their weight around just because they seem to be awash with money. You see them in hotel lobbies and even restaurants with their feet up as they do back home, and in shopping malls being welcomed by salesgirls with dollar signs in their eyes.

This latter type I saw in Cebu when I was there last weekend. In the pricey Mactan Shangrila Resort where we stayed, they lounged at the lobby with their feet up as if they owned the place.

The problem is that Immigration Commissioner Marcelino Libanan and his boys are treating Koreans with kid gloves for fear that the Korean government will retaliate against some 100,000 Filipinos working in South Korea.


And here is the latest reaction to the growing Korean blight:

Lawyers hit ‘Koreanization’ of RP

By Delmar Cariño
Northern Luzon Bureau

Posted date: November 26, 2008

BAGUIO CITY – Lawyers attending a Supreme Court-mandated legal seminar here took to task the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for its alleged failure to act on the proliferation of corporations suspected to be dummies of Koreans.

The lawyers said there is a growing public clamor for the investigation of corporations formed by local incorporators who actually fronted for enterprising Korean businessmen.

This is in violation of the anti-dummy law and the constitutional prohibition on the ownership of lands by foreigners, they said.

The lawyers, who attended the mandatory continuing legal education (MCLE) at Hotel Supreme here, tagged the problem as “the creeping Koreanization of the Philippines.”

But the SEC told the Inquirer that the lawyers were barking up the wrong tree since the power to prosecute dummy corporations belonged to the Department of Justice.

“The DOJ has jurisdiction over violations of the anti-dummy law since they are classified as criminal offenses,” lawyer Annie Tesoro, SEC director for the Cordillera, Ilocos and Cagayan regions, said.

What the SEC can do, she said, is to check and monitor if registered corporations complied with their articles of incorporation.

“We can file administrative cases against erring corporations en route to the cancellation of their registration,” she said.

She said the SEC has limited powers and thus, a criminal case filed at the DOJ could hasten the SEC’s administrative proceedings against dummy corporations.

She said the SEC had heard of bogus corporations purportedly put up by Korean dummies but the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) should conduct the probe.

The Korean topic was an offshoot of former Dean Merlin Magallona’s discussion on the Spratly Agreement and the baseline bill in relation to the definition of the country’s national territory.

Magallona said the Korean issue was an “expansion that has become alarming.”

Baguio is one of the cities in the country that hosts a lot of Korean schools, restaurants and other businesses, which grew over the years, mainly due to the influx of Korean students who wanted to learn English here.

But lawyer Galo Reyes, a former law dean, said the SEC appeared to have been lax in its campaign to stop dummy corporations from buying land.

“From San Fabian, Pangasinan to Pagudpod, Ilocos Norte, these corporations had acquired beach lots, home lots and condominiums,” he said. “What is the SEC doing?” he asked.

Here in my work place, our accommodation is great. We live in one of the quadroplex apartment unit. Three bedrooms — one master with own Toilet/Bath (T/B) and two singles with common T/B.

The bedrooms furnishing are standard. A 3-door large closet, 2 corner tables, 1 king-size bed. The bed has very comfortable foam, a bed sheets, then bed cover, feels like a 4-star hotel bed. Double curtains 3-panel sliding windows.

What i am saying is that, i like our staff house. I like my room. Very comfy and well, ‘roomy’.

If I am going to furnish my dream house, what kind of furnishing i would like to install?

Well, as usual, i browse the internet for some ideas and i came across this website:, a distributor of modern and contemporary furnitures and furnishings. A one-stop-shop online furniture store.


Luna Rossa sofa from

For ‘my’ living room. I like the Elegant Contemporary Designer Leather Sofa from Luna Rossa Collection.  Designed by world renowned designer Rodolfo Bertozzi for Polaris, Made in Italy.

Imported directly from Italy, Luna Rossa Designer Leather Sofa is entirely hand made using the finest top grain genuine Italian leather. Designed by a world renowned designer Rodolfo Bertozzi for Polaris, this elegant designer leather sofa is the ultimate in contemporary Italian design and comfort. Luna Rossa Leather Sofa features a natural wood frame, seats and backs filled with polyurethane foam and adjustable headrests.  This stunning designer leather sofa also features removable covers for cushions, backs and headrests.  The Luna Rossa Leather Sofa is made to order and is available in 50 colors.
 Elegant yet contemporary Italian design and attention to details in the Luna Rossa Leather Sofa is sure to impress and add a touch of class to your contemporary decor.


And for the master’s bedroom, i liked the sophisticated design and contemporary style of Clio Modern Platform Bed by Rossetto features a rich wenge finish.

You don’t have to spend a fortune to give your bedroom an entirely new look and feel.  The moderately priced Clio Platform Bed by Rossetto is a tasteful contemporary creation featuring rich wenge finish, tremendous attention to detail and smooth wood texture.  This simple yet elegant modern platform bed incorporates straightforward design and functionality with a little twist in a form of a slightly curved edge visible in the headboard and optional case goods.

Clio Platform Bed is a perfect complement to Clio bedroom case goods, but can easily be paired with any of the Rossetto case collections.

I like to cozy and snuggle up with my bedmate for a lingering morning in a super-comfy bed, especially on Saturday and Sunday mornings — no rushing… I always like to go under the bed cover when i drop the room temp to 18-deg.

For the kitchen/dining, I like the Astor Contemporary Designer Dining Table, with its crisply defined visual motif of geometric forms and brilliant construction, the Astor Contemporary Designer Dinning Table is as innovative as it is remarkably swanky. Discreet use of technology and harmonious design merge to create an alliance between mechanisms that turn this table into an unpretentious surface of beauty and function.


astor-dining-set from

Made in Italy by world renowned designers Daniele Gaspardo and Luciano Marson, the Astor table uses unique mechanism to extend the table; instead of a central or side leaf, the Astor is elongated by accordion-like functionality creating quick but gentle movement and an exterior encompassing wood and aluminum. This sleek designer dinning table is available in three different wood finishes: natural beech, whitened beech, and mocha stain beech.

The smell of morning coffee (barako), omelet with plenty of onions, slice ampalaya with egg and fried rice should complement this dining set.

If you like to see the rest of’ s furnitures, you may visit their eRoomService for various types of furnitures and furnishings.

For the modern kids, their “eRoomService  offers a wide range of hand-crafted, quality and contemporary children and baby items from the world’s top modern designers. Our unique collection of modern kids furniture, baby nursery furniture, modern kids and baby toys and bedding is sure to impress and complement your contemporary decor.”

Modern bedroom furniture from top Italian and European designers. “Choose from’s exclusive selection of contemporary bedroom furniture: modern platform beds and beddings, modern Italian designer bedroom furniture and unique bedroom suites and sets that define your taste and class. “

For families and single folks, their is a wide array of selections for “contemporary designer living room furniture from top Italian and European designers. Unmatched selection of modern designer living room furniture: Italian leather and fabric sofas and sectionals, designer entertainment units and much more. Furnish your contemporary space with European designer furniture that is unique, modern and contemporary.”

There is a whole lot of choices for all types of modern and contemporary furnitures that you can choose at, the online furniture store.

Finally, after two years (seems like eternity) in Nigeria, i finally got a chance to go on vacation.

I went by Qatar Airways from Lagos because i wanted to go direct to Cebu City, rather than in Manila with the usual Emirates Airlines.

I was thinking on having a ‘drinking binge’ on board, just to treat myself for finally getting avacation. Unfortunately, it was ramadan time so no liquor were on board, not even French wine. such a bummer.

But the food is great. Two meals and a snack, i think.  I also liked the audio-video on-demand (AVOD) service. I think i watched 4 movies during the 9 hours flight. That is why im so tired when i arrived in Doha. Our plane arrived late. So instead of 1 hour stopover, we were able to squeeze just 30 mins before the boarding call sounded. But i was able to make a quick trip to the duty free for some obligatory chocolates and pruned dates.

From Lagos to Cebu, the AVOD was gone. we only had a common overhead TV, which made me feel like i was taking a bus to Iligan, especially after they showed a movie starring Vhong Navarro and Pokyang, este, Pokwang. This time, there was French red wine. No whisky though. The onboard meals was Filipino, with kangkong and cassava cake.

We arrived in Cebu at 4 PM. At the airport, i opened my baggage and took out a backpack where i put my dutyfree loot. When i locked the bags, i realized i left my keys inside the baggage!! I took a taxi to pier area to board Superferry, since it was Friday. I couldn’t sleep well because i can’t change my clothes. Remember, the keys are locked in my baggage. Darn…

My wife and kids met me in CDO pier. I was, honestly, suprised at how big and tall my children are now. Whew. How time flies… Of course, the usual tears, my dear…

My wife prepared for me sinugba, kinilaw and tinola. All fishes. She knows i fell in love with her kinilaw.

The next days I enjoyed with my family — malling, church, Night cafe, native foods, seafoods…

 I splurged on seafoods – guso, lato, litob, imbaw, tahong… grilled fish, sinigang, tinola, prito.  But my wife cannot be prevented in buying The Barn’s liempo and litson manok. I also got the chance to taste again their Bulalo…

Cagayan de Oro after two years have some surprising changes. Among the new noticeable changes in the city is the appearance of another bridge connecting A. Velez extension and coming out of Ilaya, Carmen. This is suppose to decongest the Carmen/City Hall bridge. The roads around Carmen market has widened with the cleaning of stalls on the sidewalks. Cogon market roads have widened. However, The night cafe on Friday and Saturday seems  to have less people than 2 years ago. Even SM and Limketkai have sparse crowd on the weekend. It is only Gaisano and Ororama that still had the familiar rush of crowds.

My wife gave me a spa treat. We had Swedish massage at Palms Day Spa beside the Avon building, fronting Gaston Park. I was expecting a quiet room. What we got was just like a quickie massage parlour where clients enter into cubicles separated by curtains. And it was not dimmed. The cubicles are just in front of the main door. Well, i do not want to be a spoilsport, so i just went in and had it. The masseuse is okay but a little lithe on the touch. I think the spa is also saving on lotion because it only used one kind of lotion.

I had experienced a swedish massage at Body Basics at Velez St. I dunno if it’s still open. Pre-shower is required. The masseuse applies just enough pressure and  i think they used 3 kinds of aromatic lotion. The effect was really relaxing. The women’s area is separated from the men’s area. But the massage room is very dim, well air-conditioned and with piped-in music. I would recommend Body Basics’ swedish massage.

I went to Blind masseurs also. I thought they are great because of their ‘touch’ specialty. I had a ‘medium’ shiatsu massage. I don’t really know if the guy was angry or what. I felt like all my muscles were squeezed of their juices and my joints were cracking like they are going to pop-out anytime. Shiatsu with a blind guy, i guess, is a bad idea. Maybe i should go for a masseuse next time.

There’s a lot of new restaurants in Divisoria. Somebody even rented the small space beside my Internet Cafe at Chavez-Velez corner for a sort of ‘tuck-in-a-hole’ resto cafe, named Cafe Alonzo. The young couple, Alain and Maureen, really thought they can make it despite the small space, considering that the location is just a corner away from the Night Cafe area. Well, goodluck to them.

I really wanted to rest on my vacation. So i keep myself in the house most of the time. The only places i went to were Divisoria, Lourdes Grade School, SM/XUHS, and Limketkai. We went to Nazareno Church beside Gaisano for our ‘Misa Anticipada’ every Saturday afternoon.

I was just beginning to feel pampered by wife and kids, and then….. It’s time to go..

I left CDO for Cebu via Cebu Ferries. 


Sa Sugbu 

— to be continued…


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