[Star Wars-style opening text scroll]
In the country that is not that far, far away…
The end of August 2006 brought to a brief close the complicated cold war between ABS-CBN and GMA, thanks to the people who compose the mercenary army called Nueva Liga Filipina.
Since then, the two giant networks, as well as their affiliates, have greatly toned down the mud-slinging that rocked the Philippine broadcasting spectrum many times in the past.
And as for the Nueva Liga Filipina, the group’s popularity increased, paving the way for more recruits. Furthermore, when disaster strikes, the group always lended a hand. Especially to the victims of typhoons Milenyo (beginning of October) and Reming (mid-to-late November).
The months of September, October, and November had been peaceful in general. The economy is flourishing, and the people bear more positive attitudes than ever.
First, let’s look at the events of September.
[End of Star Wars-style opening text scroll]
It’s a hot mid-September day, and the childhood friends have been invited to a marathon screening of “The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya” at SM Mall of Asia. With them are Katie (with Mirmo, of course), her friends, and Korina.
Matthew Luke: Just to state a fact, naging popular si Haruhi dahil sa mga sari-saring pakulo na lubos na kinagiliwan ng mga anime fan.
Hyacinth: OK, aaminin naming dalawa ni Matt na napanood namin dati ang Haruhi nang buo, pero para iwasan ang mga spoiler, kayo na lang ang manood at humusga.
Katie, Korina, Dylan, Rima, Azumi: Gets na namin!
Matthew Luke & Hyacinth: Sige, let’s sit back and watch!
Matt and co. then watch the first episode with anticipation. At the end of the episode, the ending theme, “Hare Hare Yukai”, rocks the theater’s sound system.
Mirmo: Kakainggit naman sina Haruhi, Mikuru, at Yuki. Tinalbugan kaming mga fairy sa departamento namin.
Yatch: Mirmo, easy ka lang. Kapag nakita natin sila nang personal, isang dance showdown ang ihahanda natin sa SOS Brigade na kinabibilangan nila.
Korina: Sige, aprub ako dyan. Ipi-feature ko iyon sa isang future episode ng Rated K.
But as episode 2 is about to be shown…
Woman’s voice: (from the top of the screen) Korina, nagkita na naman tayo!
Korina: Mel, ikaw na naman?!
Mel: Sino pa ba? Alam ko na pupunta ka rito sa Mall of Asia para lang panoorin ang isang anime!
Korina: Siguro’y tinitiktikan mo ako, no?
Matthew Luke: (slaps forehead, a la Kyon) Naku, paano na yan?
Hyacinth: Tawagin ang mga guwardya! Dali!
Mel: Op op op. Sandali lang~. (dives to the stage) Mga kababayan, bago ko payagang ipagpatuloy ang panonood ninyo ng anime na ito, na sinasabing “mas popular sa Bleach”…
The audience floods the theater with boos and hisses.
Mel: …ay dapat kong i-dwelo ang aking matinding kaaway, si Korina Sanchez. Kapag natalo siya, mapapasaakin na uli ang mahiwagang hairbrush niya!
Amist the audience, Korina bravely approaches Mel.
Korina: Mel, tatanggapin ko ang dwelo mo. At tatanggapin mo rin ang pagkatalo mo!
Mel: Sige, bring it on. Magpaalam ka na ngayon sa hairbrush mo~.
Katie: (from afar) Ma’am K, kaya n’yo yan! At wag patagalin ang laban, ha?
The two duelists draw their weapons, and…
NO ESCAPE! — FIGHT!
[Duel: Korina Sanchez vs. Mel Tiangco]
Walang-alinlangan akong aatake!
Subukan natin kung iilag ka.
Tikman mo ang kapangyarihan ng Kapuso!
Tikman mo ang kapangyarihan ng Whitesmith!
O, ano na?
Sige, tirahin mo na ako.
Handa na ako sa atake mo.
Laban o bawi?
Kayang-kaya mo ba ako?
Sige, mag-isip-isip ka. Naka-standby ako.
Bigyan mo ako ng kapangyarihan, Pareng Mike!
Paalam, dati kong estudyante.
Sa ngalan ng GMA, pupulbusin kita!
Kukunin ko ang haribrush mo pagkatapos nito!
Di ka tatagal ng 24 oras!
When Mel’s HP reaches the critical level…
Korina: Magic hairbrush, bigyan mo ako ng kapangyarihan!
Out of nowhere, lots of shampoo sachets (with freebies and discounts on them) rain down on Mel.
Mel: Sige! Suko na ako! Suko na ako! Magbati na tayo! Magbati na tayo! Basta wag mo akong ipapapulis, Korina!
Korina Sanchez wins — FRIENDSHIP
[End of duel]
Korina: (sheathing her sword) Mel, sige. Magbati na tayo. Tutal, dati na tayong magkasama, OK? (facing Matt, Hyacinth, Katie and co.) Aprub ba kayo na isali si Mel sa grupo natin?
Matthew Luke: Tutal, nagbati na ang ABS-CBN at GMA, so I’m all for it.
Hyacinth: Basta wala siyang hidden agenda, OK?
Mel: (voice muffled due to pile of sachets) Anong hidden agenda-hidden agendang sinasabi mo? Wala ako n’un! Puro ang intensyon kong sumali sa inyo! At hindi ko na pag-iinteresan ang hairbrush ni Koring, pwamis!
Katie: Cross our hearts and hope to die!
In the end, Matt and co. enjoyed the rest of the day watching the remaining episodes of Haruhi, and Mel gradually enjoying their company.
Therefore, in September, Mel Tiangco was officially included as a member of Nueva Liga Filipina and as a Star of Destiny.
October began with typhoon Milenyo ravaging most of Luzon. Balay Kapatiran was spared of the destruction he wrought, but the mercenary army has to do the natural thing after the storm: charity.
While Matt and Hyacinth were busy leading the other Stars in handing out relief goods to victims who were lining up at Balay Kapatiran, they saw a man in a tattered robe. They immediately recognized him as…
Matthew Luke & Hyacinth: Genjo Sanzo?!
Sanzo: Ako nga iyon. Magmula nang pinalayas ako ni Ma’am Galvante sa akusasyong pagtataksil sa GMA, nanirahan ako sa may paanan ng bundok sa Rizal, nag-iisa. Nagtiis ako dahil natural ito sa mga Buddhista. At noong sumapit na ang bagyo, nagpasya akong lumayas. Lumakad ako, sumilong ako, humingi ako ng tulong. Hanggang sa napadaan ako rito.
Mel: (approaching Sanzo) Kawawa ka naman, Sanzo. Kung hindi ka sana pinalayas…
Sanzo: (to Mel) Hindi na maaaring ibalik pa ang oras, kaya dapat gamitin ito sa makabuluhang pamumuhay. Kaya dahil pareho naman tayong Kapuso, sasali na ako sa grupo mo, Mel.
Matthew Luke: OK lang sa amin.
Hyacinth: Siyempre, dahil tinutulungan namin kita sa ngayon, tutulungan mo kami sa hinaharap, Sanzo.
Sanzo: Maraming salamat. (bows)
On October 22nd, the WWE Survivor Series Tour was shown at the Araneta Coliseum. Multitudes of wrestling fans young and old have flocked to see their favorite superstars with their own eyes.
At the middle of the show, Batista showed up at the middle of the ring, preparing to give a speech to his countrymen.
“Fellow Filipinos, maraming salamat po. You have waited for a long, long time to see me in action. You also considered me as a role model. And now, in front of you all, I’m honest in saying that your efforts are not in vain. Now, I’ll make an announcement.
“There have been several news reports here in the Philippines concerning the mercenary army called Nueva Liga Filipina. That group made waves not just because of their members of different origins, but also because the members managed to put a stop to the cold war between two giant broadcasting networks here. And that is what I call peacemaking.
“I’ve been thinking of this a lot since that war ended this August, and now I finalize my decision.
“I ask the WWE management to hold my contract for at least six months so that I can join the Nueva Liga Filipina.”
The audience was surprised by The Animal’s decision. Among them, is of course, Matt & Hyacinth.
Matthew Luke: Wow! Si Batista, sasali sa atin!
Hyacinth: Pero bakit kaya? Sige, patapusin natin ang speech niya.
“Indeed, you are all surprised by my decision. But my gut feeling tells me that in the coming months, a great tragedy will rip the Philippines apart. So, as a token of gratitude to my homeland and as a sign of goodwill, I must join the Nueva Liga Filipina in order to stop the tragedy from happening.
“Don’t you worry, fans. You will still see me in action — on a real battlefield.
“That is all. Again, maraming salamat po.”
Batista then leaves the ring with confidence.
The rest of the story? Immediately after the show, the WWE management summoned Matt and Hyacinth to meet Batista and to formally draft him into the army.
And thus, in October, Genjo Sanzo and Batista were officially included as members of Nueva Liga Filipina and as Stars of Destiny.
Finally, in November, two events marked the calendar.
On November 15, the unknown person who had brought out the Scroll of Brutality to mess up the ABS-CBN/GMA showdown, and also the superior of the pirates who ravaged Manila Bay, was arrested at the unknown place, then revealed to be a townhouse owned by his long-time female friend. He is none other than… ex-Senator Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan.
Gringo may have broken his foot in the process of his arrest, but only God knows when that impediment of his won’t get in the way of him doing a Houdini for the umpteenth time.
The other event… is when typhoon Reming cut a swath across Bicolandia. It turned a paradise of a region into a wasteland.
Charity once again became the buzzword for the folks at Nueva Liga Filipina. This time around, 50% of the members had to leave to personally hand out what the typhoon victims needed the most.
In Albay, the province that sustained the most damage from Reming, the childhood friends led the half of their army in giving relief goods, until they noticed something.
Man’s voice: (muffled due to debris) Aaaagghhh… Tulungan mo ako… Hindi ako makahinga…
Matthew Luke: Hmm… Wala na ibang gagawin kundi salbahin siya mula sa putik.
Hyacinth: Agree ako dyan.
With shovels in their hands, they dug through mud to free the trapped person. And the dig was a success. The man survived.
Man: (singing) Yes, I won with joy in my heart / Deep, deep down in my heart / J-O-Y, joy in my heart / Deep, deep down in my heart~
Hyacinth: (gasps) Michael V.?! Paano ka napunta rito?
Michael V.: Mahabang istorya ‘to. *ehem* Noong nakita ko si Ma’am Galvante at pinagbintangan niya akong traydor, nawalan ako ng malay. Tapos, nagkamalay ako sa isang bukid dito sa Albay. Nagtanong-tanong ako sa mga tao rito at nasurpresa sila na si Michael V. pala ako. Sinabi pa nila na “yayariin” ko sila, ngunit ang sabi ko naman sa kanila, “Seryoso na ‘to. Gipit na gipit ako. Tulungan mo naman ako upang makabalik ako sa Maynila.” Naantig sila sa panawagan ko, kaya pinatuloy muna nila ako sa mga kabahayan nila. At nang dumating ang isang bagyo, doon naging masalimuot ang lahat. Yung mga nakasalamuha ko rito ay nawala. Tapos na-trap ako sa mudflow. “Nayari” ako. (cries)
Matthew Luke: Huwag kang mag-alala. Dahil kilala ka namin…
Michael V.: (tries to stop crying) …at kilala ko kayo, dahil sa mga balita…
Hyacinth: …tutulungan ka namin, sa abot ng aming makakaya. Sige, sama ka sa amin. Tutal, kasama pa namin sina Mel at Sanzo.
Michael V.: Ows! Talaga?
Matthew Luke: Tumpak!
The rest of the story? The childhood friends introduced Michael V. to Mel and Sanzo, who were with them during the relief operations.
And that is how in November, Michael V. got officially included as a member of Nueva Liga Filipina and as a Star of Destiny.
The last three months were, as said before, peaceful. But come December, the boiling point will be reached once again, as lots of events will mark 2006 to a close.
Stars Introduced So Far
Tenman – Star of Abundance
(Zhu Tong, the Beautiful Bearded)