Woods optimistic for 2018, but schedule still unclear

first_imgAustralia doubts as Djokovic pulls out of Qatar Open Scottie Thompson also worthy of Finals MVP, thinks Cone Tiger Woods of the United States warms up on the range prior to the final round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany, Bahamas on December 3, 2017 in Nassau, Bahamas. Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images/AFPTiger Woods said Friday he’s taken his game to another level, but his 2018 schedule remains unclear as he plots his comeback from injury.The 14-time major champion posted a lengthy blog on his website, reflecting on 2017 and looking ahead to a 2018 that he hopes will see him playing a full schedule and contending on the US PGA Tour.ADVERTISEMENT Brian Heruela arrival bolsters Phoenix backcourt, defense MOST READ Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours View comments LATEST STORIES Woods missed all of the 2015-16 season and his comeback attempt in early 2017 was cut short when back trouble flared again.He underwent yet another back procedure in April and was sidelined until the Hero World Challenge, the unofficial event he hosts for charity.Woods, who said he was finally playing without pain, finished tied for ninth in the field of 18 — and briefly held the lead during the second round.“It was nice to have played well enough to do that after being gone so long,” he said.Woods was pleasantly surprised by the effectiveness of the shorter swing that resulted from his spinal fusion surgery.ADVERTISEMENT Meralco ‘never the same’ after Almazan injury in PBA Finals OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson “My swing is definitely shorter and I can’t turn as far,” he said. “But I was surprised at how explosive I was.“And on top of that,” he added, “how well I putted. I had been rolling it well at home, but it’s totally different when you have adrenalin in your system. I’m more than a full-club longer than when I shut it down.”Even with all those positives, Woods indicated that there will be plenty of unknowns in 2018, particularly as regards his schedule.He did say that “one way or another” he’ll be at Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles for the Genesis Open from February 15-18 — although that could be as a player or in his role as host of a tournament run by his charitable foundation.Longtime Woods watchers also wonder if he might tee it up three weeks earlier at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines near La Jolla, California.Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines — including at the 2008 US Open, the most recent of his 14 major triumphs.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next “Now, I feel I’ve taken it to another level,” Woods said of the strides he’s made since an encouraging return to competition at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas in November.“I’m continuing to progress and trying to get strong enough to where I can handle a workload again. I would love to play a full schedule in 2018.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk“What that entails, including back-to-back events, I don’t know,” Woods said. “I just have to continue to work on my body and game and see where I pan out.“I wish I knew where I was going to play and when I was going to play –- it’s a lot easier to prep for that -– but we really don’t know. This is all unchartered territory.” Redemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie Thompson Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anewlast_img read more

Federer hails Chung as future top 10 player

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. The 21-year-old sent 12-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic packing in the fourth round, although the Serb was carrying an injury and not at his best.But he also accounted for fourth seed Alexander Zverev in his best Grand Slam showing so far.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkIn 20 years at the top, Federer has seen plenty of players come and go and only had praise for the youngster.“I think he is already a great player, but we are talking next level excellence and I think he will achieve that,” said Federer, who is into his 30th Grand Slam final as he chases a 20th major title. “We will see much more of him. Top 10 for sure.”He added that he did not want to put too much pressure and expectation on Chung as “I don’t think it’s fair”.But he said: “I think he’s going to have a lot of success. At what stage, how much, we will see.”Chung’s unexpected run to be the first South Korean in a Grand Slam semi-final has drawn new fans to the sport in his homeland where tennis lags far behind golf and baseball in the popularity stakes.It also sparked top television ratings and a spike in sales of tennis gear, with Chung set to return home far more famous, and richer, than when he left.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES One of his key takeaways was the confidence it had given him.“A lot of confidence. I played a lot of good players in the last two weeks. I can play, like, more comfortable on the court with the great players like Roger.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson MOST READ Switzerland’s Roger Federer makes a forehand return to South Korea’s Hyeon Chung during their semifinal at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Jan. 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)MELBOURNE, Australia — Roger Federer hailed Chung Hyeon as a future top 10 player Friday after the South Korean’s Australian Open came to a painful end at the hands of the Swiss maestro.The defending champion was leading 6-1, 5-2 and in full control when Chung retired with foot blisters, bringing the curtain down on a breakout tournament in which he announced himself as a future star in the making.ADVERTISEMENT View commentscenter_img Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Michael Porter Jr. stays patient as playing time increases Newsome sets focus on helping Bolts open new PBA season on right track Red rawMany Koreans were glued to their televisions watching him on Friday, with fan Park Meing-Cheon brought to tears in Seoul.“Unfortunately, with the blister wounds on his toes, I couldn’t help crying earlier on,” she said.Yoon Ji-Su, from Anyang City, forecast great things from him moving forward.“Although the injury is a pity, I hope he recovers well, and I believe there will be great results in the next French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open,” he said.Nicknamed “The Professor” due to his trademark thick white-rimmed glasses, Chung said he retired because his blisters were “red raw”.Despite the anti-climax, he said it was great experience and he was “really honoured” to be on the same court as Federer.“I enjoyed the two weeks, on court and off court. I’m just really happy,” he said.“For sure, I played really good in the last two weeks. I made first round of 16, quarters and play Sascha (Zverev), Novak, Roger. I had a really good experience.“I think I can play better and better in the future.” Nonito Donaire vs Naoya Inoue is BWAA 2019 Fight of the Year Almazan vows to comeback stronger after finals heartbreak Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Halep and Wozniacki aim for Australian Open firstlast_img read more

Rivals F2 Logistics, Petron cross paths in crucial clash

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. Sporting a clean 3-0 win-loss record in Pool A, the Cargo Movers renew their rivalry with Petron in a titanic clash at 7 p.m.The HD Spikers, also holding a perfect 3-0 slate in Pool B, seek to clinch the other outright semifinal ticket as they clash with Cocolife at 4 p.m.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’Led by resurgent veteran Rachel Anne Daquis, defending champion Cignal tries to make a return trip to the semifinals, which will leave Smart-Army and Sta. Lucia Realty in the crossover quarterfinals against the No. 3 and No. 2 teams in Pool A, respectively.But all eyes will be on the much-anticipated battle between F2 Logistics and Petron, who have been clashing for the past three finals series. Report: Disney dropping the ‘Fox’ from movie studio names MOST READ Trump assembles a made-for-TV impeachment defense team Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWs In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Putin’s, Xi’s ruler-for-life moves pose challenges to West Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding F2 Logistics is just a win from reaching the Final Four after routing University of the Philippines-United Auctioneers Inc. in straight sets, 25-13, 25-22, 25-16, late Wednesday.F2 Logistics head coach Ramil De Jesus is confident with the hunger and eagerness of his wards in beating Petron, the squad that dethroned them in the previous Grand Prix.“Every time we have a great matchup like Petron, I don’t have to remind my players because they are preparing hard and eager to win this kind of games,” De Jesus said.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew View comments Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil It’s going to be an action-packed doubleheader as unscathed teams F2 Logistics and Cignal gun for sweeps in their respective pools to claim the two outright semifinal berths in the last day of the preliminaries of the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga Invitational Conference on Saturday at Muntinlupa Sports Center.ADVERTISEMENT How new is the New Manny Pacquiao?last_img read more

Philippines needs backdoor path–an help from nemesis Iran–to make it to World Cup

first_imgMOST READ View comments Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netThe Philippine stint in the Fiba World Cup in China next year is still an achievable dream, but the Filipinos will have to get help from a team they have a lot of painful history with to get it done and make it via the backdoor.With clashes on the road against Qatar and Kazakhstan coming—must-wins in February—Gilas Pilipinas must hope that Iran, a long-time nemesis, continues playing its heart out and treats its last two assignments with the same importance as it did its previous 10 outings.ADVERTISEMENT ‘Mia’: Rom-com with a cause a career-boosting showcase for Coleen Garcia New training center for national athletes to be constructed soon Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Gilas’ situation is a precarious one heading into the sixth window, as it occupies fourth spot at 5-5 in Group F with Japan a rung above after scoring an 86-70 ripping of Kazakhstan at home also on Monday for a 6-4 record.So for the Philippines to qualify, Iran must inflict a loss on Japan even after having qualified to the World Cup already on Monday after a 78-70 nipping of the Filipinos.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissWith only the top three teams from Groups E and F and the better fourth-placed team from both groups advancing to China, the Filipinos are in a one-miss-you-die situation and are holding on to one last remaining bright spot.Team Philippines handily beat the Japanese twice in the earlier windows, with Japan still without naturalized player Nic Fazekas and Japanese-American and potential NBA first-rounder Rui Hichimura, and will win a tiebreak between the two countries. Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award “It’s still doable; the chances are slimmer, but it’s still doable,” coach Yeng Guiao told reporters.Japan’s other game will be versus the Qataris.The Filipinos were comfortably seated on third spot heading into the fifth window, only to take two shock home defeats against Kazakhstan and an undermanned Iran squad.The game against the Qataris will be in Doha on Feb. 21, before the Filipinos fly to Astana to battle Kazakhstan three days later.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew No.13 lucky for Orlando Bloom After winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folklast_img read more

Kings overcome Damian Lillard’s 35 to frustrate Trail Blazers

first_imgView comments Tony Parker in triumphant San Antonio return as Hornets down Spurs “He’s a walking double-double,” said Justin Jackson, who had nine points on three 3-pointers. “You add that back to our team, it adds even more versatility. It allows us to do so many more things within our offense whenever he’s out there on the court.”Fox also had nine assists, Buddy Hield scored 19 points and Bogdan Bogdanovic added 18 on 8-of-10 shooting off the bench. Sacramento has won three straight and four of five.“We’re playing hard, we’re defending, making extra efforts,” Kings coach Dave Joerger said. “We’re a team where everybody needs to contribute.”Damian Lillard scored 35 points to become the fastest player in Portland history to reach 12,000 for his career. Jusuf Nurkic had six points and 11 rebounds, and CJ McCollum scored six on 2-of-14 shooting.The Trail Blazers, playing the second half of a back-to-back, have lost two straight since winning four in a row.ADVERTISEMENT Bagley had 13 points and 11 rebounds for his fifth double-double, De’Aaron Fox scored 16 points and made a key 3-pointer with 1:30 remaining, and Sacramento beat the Portland Trail Blazers 115-107 on Monday night.“I feel like I was before I got hurt,” Bagley said after his fourth game back. “When I was out, I still was around. I was still shooting, still was doing stuff. I wasn’t just sitting out. I was getting in shape, still making sure that I was ready. It wasn’t hard to get back into the swing of things.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissBagley made a pivotal 14-foot turnaround jumper early in the fourth quarter, then went over the back of Zach Collins and tipped in an offensive rebound to put the Kings up 100-88.That anchored a big night from Sacramento’s bench, which outscored Portland’s reserves 58-34. TEMPERS FLAREShumpert had to be stopped by arena and Trail Blazers security from going into Portland’s locker room after the game. Shumpert was apparently angry at Nurkic, who set a hard screen in the second half.“Some stuff needed to be between me and him, a conversation between two men,” Shumpert said. “Some stuff happened out there that we needed to have a conversation about. That’s it.”Nurkic shrugged it off.“I’m not going to worry about it,” Nurkic said. “He’s going into retirement soon. I’m not going to worry about a guy who’s going into retirement soon.”NOT THIS TIMEWhen the Blazers beat the Kings two weeks ago, Nurkic became the first player in modern NBA history to have at least 20 points, 20 rebounds, five assists, five steals and five blocks. It was a much different story for Nurkic on Monday. Portland’s big man had five assists and one block but took only seven shots and did not make a steal.UP NEXTTrail Blazers: Host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday.Kings: At the Charlotte Hornets on Thursday. Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard looks to pass against Sacramento Kings’ Marvin Bagley III and De’Aaron Fox, (5) during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game Monday, Jan. 14, 2019, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)SACRAMENTO, Calif. — It hasn’t taken long for Marvin Bagley III to regain his rhythm in Sacramento’s offense after missing 11 games with an injured left knee.The second overall pick in the draft still needs to improve his free throw shooting in the fourth quarter, but Bagley is definitely giving the Kings’ second unit quite a lift.ADVERTISEMENT Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college “We knew coming in that they love to play in transition and we kind of played into their hands,” Lillard said. “We turned the ball over and allowed them to get out in transition. They play the fastest pace in the league, so we made it harder on ourselves than it had to be.”Sacramento got out to an early lead, held Portland to 17 points in the second quarter and then held off the Trail Blazers down the stretch.After Lillard’s 17-foot jumper cut the Kings’ lead to 109-103 with 1:47 remaining, Fox came back down the court and calmly drained his only 3 of the night.Bagley made a free throw and Willie Cauley-Stein added an emphatic dunk that brought the crowd to its feet.Portland struggled offensively across the board, particularly McCollum, who didn’t make a shot after halftime.Lillard reached 12,000 points in the third quarter of his 514th game. Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler had been the fastest Trail Blazers player to reach the mark, in his 587th game.“A lot of guys who come into the league who are capable of doing the same thing don’t get the opportunity, the trust or the freedom,” Lillard said. “I’m really thankful for the coaching staff that I play for and the teammates that I’ve been fortunate enough to play with.”TIP-INSTrail Blazers: Lillard has scored in double figures in 184 consecutive games, breaking a tie with Drexler for the franchise record. . Collins made a tremendous defensive play to block a layup attempt by Yogi Ferrell in the first quarter. . Portland coach Terry Stotts was called for a technical while talking with officials after a foul.Kings: Fox has made at least one steal in 14 straight games, the longest active streak in the NBA. . Iman Shumpert was called for a technical foul in the third quarter. Shumpert later had to be walked to the bench by a teammate after arguing with someone on Portland’s bench. Shumpert’s three technicals are tied for second-most on the Kings behind Fox, who has four. Philippine Army to acquire MANPADS, self-propelled howitzers Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ LATEST STORIES In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titlelast_img read more

UAAP volleyball: La Salle blanks FEU in finals rematch for back-to-back wins

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Heather Guino-o led the Lady Tamaraws with 10 points.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Spurs defeat Knicks to stretch win streak to 7 SEA GAMES 2019: PH’s Nesthy Petecio boxing featherweight final (HIGHLIGHTS) PLAY LIST 02:11SEA GAMES 2019: PH’s Nesthy Petecio boxing featherweight final (HIGHLIGHTS)02:51SEA Games 2019: PH’s Josie Gabuco boxing light flyweight semi final (HIGHLIGHTS)00:50Trending Articles02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award LATEST STORIES Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? MANILA, Philippines—De La Salle didn’t care for any ballyhoo as it swept Far Eastern University, 25-15, 25-19, 26-24, in their first meeting since last year’s championship round in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament Saturday at Filoil Flying V Center.ADVERTISEMENT Celine Domingo inadvertently put La Salle at the 25-24 match point after her attempt went straight to the net and Ebon eventually gave the Lady Spikers the victory when she too sent the ball straight to the net.La Salle head coach Ramil De Jesus said his team was able to take advantage of FEU’s sluggish movements in the first two sets but were eventually caught up in the third.“I think FEU was kind of shocked in the first two sets and my players took that opportunity,” said De Jesus in Filipino. “We took advantage of that and we ended up with positive results in the first two sets.”“Once the third set started, though, the FEU players got in sync and they were able to stick with us throughout the period.”Tin Tiamzon finished with 13 points for the Lady Spikers while May Luna added 10.ADVERTISEMENT Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history Eugenie Bouchard’s bid for Australian Open spot ends in qualifying Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra View comments MOST READ Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption Rogue cops marked as Gamboa’s targets in his appointment as PNP chief The defending champions Lady Spikers wrapped the first round with back-to-back wins for a 5-2 record to move to second place behind Ateneo while the Lady Tamaraws dropped to 4-3 to stay at the fourth seed.Dispatching FEU, however, wasn’t met without any tribulations.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsThe two teams traded blows well into the latter part of the third set but it was the Lady Tamaraws who ultimately shot themselves on the foot.Tin Tiamzon tied things up at 24-24 after Lycha Ebon’s kill and what followed was an absolute cluttering on the part of FEU. Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titlelast_img read more

The Bus Ride

first_imgJohnson Street is one of the many which is the hub, hustle and bustle of Monrovia. Here you find characters of various types, questionable as well as honest people, who are trying to eke out a meager income and are not even sure when they will get food for the next meal.The upper part of the street is used as a parking area for vehicles taking commuters to and from the city and its environs. And although it is barely wide enough to accommodate a dozen vehicles at a time and especially often crowded with street sellers, most of whom sell their wares practically in the way of pedestrians and vehicles alike, each successive mayor ever since the civil war has done little to change the order of things. As a result, city ordinance laws have nearly all gone unheeded. The city’s law enforcement officers, along with the country’s  own national police, have been seen in few instances seizing commodities from petty traders, goods believed to be used by the officers themselves; contributing to a deep level of mistrust among the people, especially when it was known not long ago that city police officers found parading the streets and seizing substantial amount of merchandise were in fact thugs dressed in full Monrovia City Police uniforms; a symbol of the country’s post-war recovery which has been anything but comforting.But nothing is as troubling as when those passenger buses arrived, because then you would think the people trying to get on board would kill each other. I have seen a man of forty trying to board one of these buses by entering through the window, while grappling with others inside and those who were trying to pull him out. I have seen a woman lost her child in one of the many stampedes, though fortunately the child wasn’t trampled to death. I have seen an old woman get run over, after one of the drivers, having lost control of a brake that was malfunctioning, crashed his vehicle into a crowd of bystanders, pedestrians, street sellers and others who were waging a war to get on board. Always I have wanted to shove my way through the crowd and to shout: “Why are you striking your companion?” But I doubt anyone would listen. Besides, that is only a part of the setting of the story which follows.On a particularly hot day in March, a passenger bus arrived and after a fierce tussle the commuters found seats on the bus, which was en route to Bardnersville Estate, and the bus drove out of the Johnson Street tarred road and on to the upper part of Benson Street, past the Warren-Benson street intersection and beyond. The vehicle was practically falling to pieces and, as it drove away, leaving behind a trail of blue smoke, the exhaust pipe dangled so low it clattered on the asphalt.Inhaling exhaust fumes and the odor of sweaty and unwashed bodies, the passengers, most of whom were virtually sitting one on top the other, fell into conversation immediately the bus reached the intersection of Benson and Warren Streets. Of the commuters most were elderly laborers and petty traders, as could be seen from the nearly forbidding expressions of their faces, evidence of people hardened by years of war, hardship and misery and grown accustomed to a Sisyphean mode of survival. Among them was a well-dressed man who seemed totally out of place with his surroundings, as if by a nightmare he had been brought here to sit among all these poor and miserable people.“Someone would have killed me just to board this bus,” one of the elderly women, adjusting a small bundle on her lap, remarked. “They had their hands round my neck and for a moment I thought I was being strangled to death.”Everybody laughed.As the laughter subsided, an old man with a shaven head said, “The transport problem in this country is terrible.”“Eveeeeeery thing is terrible,” put in another woman. “The market, food, clothing, rental and hospital fees, our children’s’ school fees. Everything. And despite the fact that most of us are eating dry rice at home.”“I agree with you,” said the man with the shaven head, nodding vigorously. “But what’s the meaning of having city roads on which the cars are virtually rubbing against each other and must avoid hundreds of potholes which every Minister of Public Works has been paving since he took office?”Just then the bus fell into a particularly large pothole  a few moments’ drive from the Clara Town-Bushrod Island intersection, jostling all the passengers, who in an effort to steady themselves quickly held on to the seats, the windows, the doors and roof of the vehicle. A few days ago, two men had been seen here filling with rocks the potholes in the road. For their effort, they took tips from owners of commercial and private vehicles, most of whom were either reluctant or refused to pay anything at all.  Then people found out that the potholes which the men would fill with rocks the previous day were to be seen empty the day following, and stopped paying anything to them. The men are rarely ever to be seen again. One of them is said to be a trained road engineer who has fallen on hard times. The other man is believed to be a former Liberia United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) rebel turned drug addict and hustler.As the bus drove past the intersection of Clara Town, a young woman dressed in a tight-fitting dark suit and who looked like many young women who are being employed by banks in Monrovia, said to the others, “Look at the Clara Town road which the government called a 2.6 million dollars project. This year the rains left the road nothing other than sand and gravel, and only after a few months of the government having said to have paved the road with asphalt.”“They called the Jamaica Road project 3 million,” said someone else. “But then they had to pave it again after the road got spoiled only after a few months. It seems government officials who are sent to pave our roads are no better than the hustlers who today would throw a few rocks into a pothole and on the next day remove the same rocks to a different place, getting paid for a job they had been paid for before.”“Our govment official dem da mercenary,” cried a fat man wedged between a corner of the bus and three other people.  “Dey only care about money business.”Immediately the word “mercenary” was spoken, the others, perhaps seeing it as the right word to describe corrupt officials, took it up. Cries of “So-so mercenaries in the government,” “We’re being led by a bunch of mercenaries,” “Down with the mercenaries,” “All our officials are mercenaries,” resounded through the crammed space of the passenger vehicle, followed soon after by the outburst of laughter. Some of the passengers were nearly tearing their sides as it was!The cries and laughter died. And then the elderly man who seemed out of place in the midst of all these people, said, “Yet those are the very government officials we all vote for at the slightest notice. And so why must we complain?” Evidently he had been listening intently to the conversation but until now had had nothing to say.From the way in which he spoke it was obvious he was well-educated. It was also probably on account of his appearance that at once a hush descended. He looked to be about fifty years old or so but with a youthfully dyed hair as to make him look like a young man. His complexion was one of better health than the rest of the people combined.“Besides, most of you who complain about corruption,” the man continued, “as soon as you obtain a government post would behave no better than the people of whom you’re complaining. The fact is that Liberians have no love for their country.”“You speak as if you’re not a Liberian yourself,” said the woman with the bundle.“Yes, of course,” said the young woman, “and it would be interesting if he were to tell us where he’s working. The way he’s dressed makes him look like a government minister, though why he should be riding a rickety bus like this bea\ts my imagination.”Everybody burst out laughing.The laughter having subsided, the man, smiling, turned to the girl who had spoken to him and said, “I’m a Liberian and university professor.  “But don’t imagine for a moment that I’m better off than any of you. I’m earning a salary that’s never enough to feed myself and my children. I’ve got seven, five daughters and two boys, and of these only three are in school; one is a university dropout. Two of my daughters have turned to prostitution, and one of my sons to sodomy.  Worst still, the hundreds, if not thousands of night clubs, we’ve here in Monrovia are only further ruining our children, my own included. But who is to blame? No one other the people, you and I included, who vote into offices people who don’t live up to our expectations. But is voting a curse? No. It’s only a way of saying that we want a better person to lead us and our country. Besides, whether or not I vote for a John Doe who turns out to be corrupt wouldn’t make any difference because for their own personal reasons others will vote for him. So why worry? Why complain? Why don’t you cheer up like me?”A lull had again followed while the professor was speaking; his voice could be heard so loud and clear that even the drone of the bus and the clattering of the exhaust pipe on the tarred road, as well as the sound of passing vehicles, seemed muted.  Indeed the whole bus had fallen silent, as if the people were painfully trying to piece together what the professor’s speech meant for each and every one of them.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

JFK Harassed by Thieves

first_imgLiberia’s referral hospital, the John F. Kennedy Memorial Health Center, has expressed serious concern about the recent wave of criminal activities affecting the medical facility, authorities of the institution disclosed.In a conversation with newsmen Tuesday, April 22, in Monrovia, the hospital’s Chief Administrator, Dr. Wvannie-Mae Scott-McDonald, said that despite rigid security measures instituted by her administration, stealing still remains an ongoing problem at the compound.She noted that many times, criminals invade the area and in most cases, make away with personal belongings and hospital equipment.Although she did not provide details of said allegations, Madam Scott-McDonald revealed an incident when she came in one day and later realized that a new wall clock recently procured for one of the offices had been stolen.“There are cases of theft at JFK, and this is a problem for which we are greatly concerned,” she said.The JFK boss reiterated her commitment to the modernization of the hospital and its capacity to respond to the growing demand from the general public, adding; “JFK has the ability to address most of the medical needs of the public, and as such, we encourage our people to take interest in their own hospital so that resources will remain here.”Madam Scott-McDonald made the disclosure Tuesday in hospital compound when Montserrado County Representative Edwin M. Snowe made a donation of food items to the hospital.Rep. Snowe, in a show of goodwill, donated several bags of cassava he said were harvested from his farm.According to him, the intent of the donation was to assist in the provision of meals to both in-patients and health workers at the hospital.He applauded the tireless efforts of JFK’s management for their responses to the health concerns of the entire nation, noting; “JFK remains important to all of us.”Responding to the donation, JFK’s Chief Administrator expressed gratitude to the former Speaker of the House of Representatives and praised him for his donation to the operations of the medical facility.“I would like to thank Rep. Snowe and recognize that he’s one of the users of this facility. He brings his family here whenever they are sick and he also takes treatment at this hospital,” Dr. Scott-McDonald indicated.She then encouraged other officials of government and other prominent citizens to treat JFK as their own.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Gbarpolu Citizens Speak about Challenges in Their County

first_imgSeveral citizens of Gbarpolu County have expressed dissatisfaction over some situations they are faced with in the county.They made their plights known over the weekend when they attended the World Press Freedom Day celebrated in Bopolu, capital city of Gbarpolu County. The World Press Freedom Day was celebrated in Bopolu City by the Press Union of Liberia (PUL).Challenges, according to Gbarpolu citizens, include lack of access to save drinking water, inadequate education and health facilities, no farm-to-market roads, lack of electricity, amongst others.Forty-two-year old Milton K. Dwana, a resident of Bopolu City hoped that the event will make the focus of the Liberian Government and its development partners to shift towards their county; “so that they can help us solve our problems.”Dwana said their conditions have not changed for the better, over the years, because not too many events are held in the county to attract journalist, health workers, government officials and private institutions.“Our voices must be heard. I want to thank the PUL because at least journalists are here to see what we go through. We lack many things here. Our radio station does not reach far for the government to hear us. Thank God that the World Freedom Day celebration has attracted journalists here so that they will help report on our challenges,” he explained.He furthered stated that because of bad roads, they are faced with health problems and even educational challenges, not excluding their farms-to-market roads, which are badly deplorable.“We only have one school here, and there are so many children attending the school. The school is not expensive so the children are too many for the little sitting.”“We also don’t good drinking water in our city. We hope that our voices will be heard by the government.Also speaking to this paper, Dennis Tewee, a 24-year old recharged cards seller, called on the government of Liberia to constantly sent representatives there to know what the community lacks.“I sell my scratch cards before I am able to feed my parents on a daily. Nobody knows the things that happen here because our government officials hardly come around to check on us. The government has forgotten to know that Montserrado, Bassa, Margibi and Bong are not only Liberia,” he said.Tewee also called on journalists to always visit Gbarpolu County.“If we see two or three journalist here for two days, almost six months will pass before we see another group of journalists. The press is our only means to speak to our government, so we are begging them to always come around.”Also speaking to the Observer, 41-year-old Sianeh Talley, a market woman, stressed that market women are affected greatly because of the bad roads. She said because of very bad roads, they (market women) cannot get their goods to the market on time.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Bility, Snowe Pledge Support to Weah

first_imgThe current and former presidents of the Liberia Football Association (LFA) have pledged their support to the Senatorial bid of George M. Weah for Montserrado County, reports Leroy M. Sonpon, lll.The two football administrators called on every football player, coach and manager as well as sympathizers of football to elect what they called Liberia’s football idol on Tuesday, December 16, 2014 for the Senate.Mr. Hassa Bility and Hon. Edwin Snowe made their public declaration last week on a radio talk show in Monrovia.Mr. Bility said in the two general elections and a by-election, he didn’t support Mr. George Weah and the Congress for Democratic change (CDC), but this election, he will campaign vigorously for Africa’s football legend.Though, he didn’t state while he is not supporting BYC Chief Executive Officer, Robert A. Sirleaf, reports said his support is a payback to Mr. Weah when he was indefinitely suspended from all football activities by CAF Executive Committee.Snowe’s declaration didn’t come as a surprise owing to the continuous dispute between him and Robert Sirleaf over wide range of issues including the ownership of “Oil Blocks.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more