Mark Lorenzana

Freelance copyeditor. Sometime copywriter. Occasional blogger.

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Sports-Column Repost #4

On the Mark: Checo Gives Way to Verstappen in Spanish Grand Prix
By Mark Lorenzana

(Originally posted on MAY 23, 2022, in PNM)

The importance of a team strategy cannot be overstated in motorsports, especially in Formula 1.

“I think it was close (between me and Max Verstappen), but I think it’s a great team result and I’m happy for that,” said Mexican F1 driver Sergio “Checo” Pérez in a post-race interview, after he finished second behind Red Bull Racing teammate Verstappen, whose first-place finish in the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday, May 22, gave him his 24th overall in his career.

“I’m extremely happy to be on the podium for the first time in the Spanish Grand Prix,” Pérez added.

It was a great team result indeed, as Pérez’s second-place finish and Verstappen’s win completed an excellent one-two punch for Red Bull in Barcelona. Red Bull is currently leading in the Constructors’...

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Sports-Column Repost #3

On the Mark: Juan Toscano-Anderson Is Coming to Mexico
By Mark Lorenzana

(Originally posted on MAY 16, 2022, in PNM)

I saw a couple of pictures of Golden State Warriors forward Juan Toscano-Anderson the other day while mindlessly scrolling through the Facebook app on my phone, checking updates on the ongoing National Basketball Association (NBA) playoffs, as well as updates from my favorite boxing websites.

The photos of Toscano-Anderson were actually part of a promotional post from the Facebook account of Husky’s Center, a sports club in Querétaro, a state located in northern central Mexico, in a region known as Bajío. (I’ve been to Querétaro only once, several years ago, for the wedding of a friend, and I loved it there — significantly more tranquilo than the Ciudad de México, which I call home, but also with a lot of character. I’ve heard more than once that it’s one of the safest...

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Sports-Column Repost #2

On the Mark: Griner Must Be Released Safe and Sound
By Mark Lorenzana

(Originally posted on MAY 13, 2022, in PNM)

It was a regular season game between the Los Angeles Sparks and the now-defunct Miami Sol of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), specifically the sixth season of the then-fledgling league. The date: July 30, 2002.

In that game, the home team was struggling against Miami at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Then, after a missed three-pointer from a Sol player, Sparks starting center and superstar Lisa Leslie — who was coming back on defense late in the play — found herself alone in the backcourt and the receiving end of an outlet pass from her teammate, power forward Latasha Byers, who had rebounded the miss.

The six-foot-five Leslie, now a WNBA Hall of Famer, proceeded to drive to the basket uncontested, took off, then slammed the ball one-handed. The...

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Sports-Column Repost #1

On the Mark: Mavericks and Doncic Fan Looks Back Fondly
By Mark Lorenzana

(Originally posted on May 6, 2022, in PNM)

The good news: The Dallas Mavericks have reached the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2022 National Basketball Association (NBA) playoffs after defeating their first-round opponent, the gutsy but outgunned Utah Jazz, in six games.

The bad news: As of this writing, they are currently down two games to none against their second-round opponent, the Phoenix Suns, after losing a second consecutive game last Wednesday night, May 4, at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona.

It goes without saying that the Mavericks’ star player, Slovenian sensation Luka Doncic, desperately needs help from his other teammates if they are to win even one game as they head back to their home court, American Airlines Center, in Dallas, Texas, for the next two games.

I was watching the...

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Rant #11


The problem? Majority of Filipinos don’t care. They see human rights, mainstream media, and protests and critical thinking (guess why they hate activists and people from UP, labelling them “communists”?) as an impediment to “progress.” They don’t care if there are EJKs as long as those drug addicts are dispatched of; addicts, after all—to them, at least—are a menace to society. They hate petty crime, which is why they beat up a snatcher within an inch of his life but don’t mind that Jinggoy Estrada, who stole billions, walks away scot-free.

Sure, there has been massive disinformation, and that’s a huge problem. But I have never really bought into the simplicity of that explanation.
You don’t actually need to fool them at all with disinformation. They know what they are getting; they know what they want. Many Filipinos want a strongman to rule because they see democracy as benefitting...

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Rant #10

I would like to apologize profusely to Pulse Asia.

I called bullshit on them on their pre-election surveys that projected Bongbong Marcos winning the presidency by a landslide.

My lack of confidence in those surveys was triggered by an earlier survey that Pulse Asia had conducted, which found Rodrigo Duterte to have had a 93% trust rating. This despite a botched COVID-19 pandemic response; Duterte refusing to fire Francisco Duque amid irregularities found in the health department to the tune of ₱8 billion in government supply contracts that connected Duque to Chinese businessman Michael Yang, who bagged those contracts; the ₱15 billion stolen from PhilHealth by their executives using different fraudulent schemes; and the massive borrowing by Duterte, supposedly for his COVID response, which has now amounted to P1.31 trillion.

The surveys were accurate after all; Pulse Asia was...

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Random Thought #5


I never worried about that echo-chamber crap even before the elections. I’m worried less now.

If in that echo chamber I’m with like-minded individuals who campaigned for the most-qualified candidate, and who will continue to fight for what is right going forward, I’m at peace with that.

Hey, the people I’m closest with—both family and friends—share my values anyway. They’re the people I admire and look up to and will go to battle for.

As we grow older our circle of friends—and family—naturally shrinks anyway. This recently concluded elections only helped speed that up for a lot of younger people. The way I see it, that’s something to be thankful for.

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Rant #9

I just got off the phone with my boss, from one of my English-writing jobs here in Mexico.

She called to condole with me for the impending landslide win of Bongbong Marcos as next president of the Philippines, and added that if I didn’t feel like turning in my write-up for this week, it’s okay; she’d understand. She said she couldn’t believe that, in our lifetime, there’d be two Marcoses sitting in Malacañang. Before her call, I’d already been receiving messages of sympathy from my other colleagues as well.

These are newspeople, legit journalists. They know the score. I’ve read the coverage of our elections from other foreign media outlets as well, and they’ve been painting a gloomy picture about the outlook of the Philippines—which is perfectly understandable, no matter how optimistic we want to be.

It’s just sad that foreign journalists—outsiders—seem to have a better...

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Random Thought #4

I used to be an e-book snob – I preferred the tactile experience of reading a physical version of a book. Eventually I caved in and bought a Kindle (it’s still with me, all of 11 years old, the rugged workhorse). I also learned to consume – and actually finish – books from my smartphone, especially while on the train or the bus.

We need to adapt or perish. The battleground of these elections was on social media. We lament that majority of the newer generation never read anymore, but that’s not accurate – they do, not just books. They read on screens. They read social media posts, they read comments. They still consume information, but through TikTok and YouTube and short clips on Facebook. Bongbong Marcos exploited this; he and his team knew what they were doing.

I love reading columns, political columns, and I’m sure a lot of you do as well. Good columnists who know their stuff help...

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Rant #8


Quite a few people are up in arms over this photograph from Rappler, and majority of them—obviously—are Cebuanos.

Another case of shooting the messenger.

Why blame the media (again), when all they did was take a picture of what is really there?

What’s funny is that the same people who are complaining about this supposed “pandaut” are also mum on the proliferation of fake news on social media, which is much, much worse.

I remember that now-famous photograph taken by photojournalist Raffy Lerma, several years ago, of a woman cradling the dead body of her partner, Michael Siaron, after he was gunned down under a footbridge in Edsa by motorcycle-riding gunmen. At that time, die-hard Dutertards were up in arms because the picture was informally called “La Pieta,” in reference to Michelangelo’s Renaissance sculpture depicting the body of Jesus on the lap of his mother, Mary, after the...

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