Skip to main content

#FIBAOQT!

I've been wondering how my birthday would be unique this year. And then it happened: the FIBA Olympic Qualifier Tournament was being hosted by the Philippines! Val, Denis, Nikos, Hélène, and I went to the SM Mall of Asia Arena to watch the basketball games. My mission, which I accepted (from Krishna) was to have a photo with Tony Parker, of L'équipe de France.

Wait, who? Tony Parker? Eva Longoria's Tony Parker?!? NBA celebrity Tony Parker?!? Why is Tony Parker playing for France?!?!?

Obviously, I am not an avid follower of basketball. I enjoyed watching it back in the day with my dad because I associated basketball-watching with Shakey's Manager's Choice pizza. And then there's Michael Jordan (who, apparently, has retired long time ago). 

Anyway, so I got general admission and upper box tickets... which meant we were watching the games (the eliminations and the semis) from some of the highest seats in the venue. These were good places to watch, if you want to see the plays and the strategies.

View from the upper box
The French national anthem being sung as we watched in general admissions... the highest seats in the venue.

But if you're a fan (like Val), then the best place to watch was closest to the court. During the finals, we were able to snag lower box tickets on the cheap (people were desperately selling tickets because the Philippines didn't reach the finals).

Lower box seats! I realised how small I am when I was seated here.

France and Canada battled it out in the finals to determine who would go to Rio for this year's Olympics. It was a very tough match, with tempers rising and many missed shots. But in the end, France won. I was nervously rooting for France because the scores were very close. Also, I was looking at people who were watching the game. Right below us was the Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines. Right across us was Philippine basketball celebrity Robert Jaworski (Ginebra playing coach) and other Filipino basketball players. 

While Nikos, Denis, and I were immersed in the game's second quarter, Hélène and Val disappeared during the first few minutes of the quarter. Then they came back very excited... They were able to talk with the Senegalese basketball team staff and the group was invited to see the team at Sofitel Philippine Plaza! That would be fun: for them, they'd see basketball players; for me, I'd be in THE Sofitel! Bonus points: all FIBA team members were staying there, so there's a probability that we'd see them... up close!

While Hélène and Val were looking for the Senegalese team, Nikos, Denis, and I lounged at Le Bar (we ordered beverages so we didn't look like we were loitering). I thought that if we didn't see the athletes, I would still be happy because I finally saw what Sofitel was all about. It's my first time to be in it and it's really pretty albeit on the dark, warm side. I couldn't help thinking that the Peninsula Manila was more brightly lit, with lots of marble tiles on the floor where I ate a heap of ice cream long long ago. Anyway, Val and Hélène finally got back, disappointed because the Senegalese team wasn't there; only the coaches and the staff were. So they got drinks as well and were just resting before the long drive back... when in came the Canadian Team followed by the French Team. The avid fans left the table and followed after the athletes. I didn't like the idea of badgering them for pictures while they're exhausted so I just sat back and watched them walk into a function room for dinner.

While looking for the toilet, I bumped into a basketball player instead. He's Canada's Melvin Ejim, who is a fellow Phi Kappa Phi member.

Melvin Ejim, Canadian forward.

This is an illustration of how short I really am. Not yet convinced? Here's one more picture. With Tony Parker this time.

Does this count as mission accomplished?

... his standee, that is.

Popular posts from this blog

my top 10 life lessons from Suits season 1

I enjoy watching this series on TV called "Suits". It follows a strong mentor-mentee relationship. Harvey Specter (played by Gabriel Macht), one of the best lawyers in the city, gives valuable lessons to his associate, Mike Ross (played by Patrick J. Adams), the lawyer without the law degree. I find myself taking notes (and tweeting them) as I watch the different episodes.
While waiting for the July 1 premiere of the second season of Suits on Jack TV, I list down the top ten lessons that I gleaned from watching the first season of series. It's not surprising that many of them came from the great Harvey Specter. There are few things in there that came from Mike and Harvey's arch-nemesis, Louis Litt (played by Rick Hoffman), as well.
NOTE: if these sound like a lecture, it's because these are notes I write to myself for when I need them... and to whoever is reading this list.

Here we go:
1. "First impressions last. Start behind the eight ball and you'll ne…

Federico de Vera's brand of beauty at the Ayala Museum

On my latest visit to the Ayala Museum this year, I was able to catch the exhibit curated by Federico de Vera. I haven't heard of him, most likely because I'm not part of the art circles. I'm just an occasional museum hopper who likes to visit beautiful art pieces. This time, I was about to learn what beauty is, in the eyes of famous curator de Vera.
I was blown away by how he presented art pieces he picked up from other art collectors. Some of these pieces I've seen in other museums before. BUT, these are presented in a more striking manner... Instagrammable being the first word that comes to my mind. Spot lighting and subtle backgrounds really make the artworks pop. Walking through the different sections of the exhibit, I kept saying wow to myself. I liked the way that the curator presented every piece... he succeeded in putting the best face of each piece on display. There was a sense of meticulousness in the detail... not just dumping pieces together on a table or…

tinikling

Back in college, I used to play with the UPLB Ethnomusemblia, a group of students who liked to play traditional Filipino music as live accompaniment to the UPLB Filipiniana Dance Troupe, those students who performed Filipino local dances. Tribal music was what I learned with the group: music filled with textures of the sounds from kulintang and agong; the resonating sounds of simultaneously beaten gangsa; and the deep tones from the dabakan. However, I never learned how to play stringed instruments that are part of the rondalla. I attempted the banduria but to no avail. That's why I never learned to play the music for the tinikling; instead, I contented myself with listening to the rondalla people play the lively song.

Tinikling is the national dance of the Philippines. In this lively dance, the man and the woman imitate the movements of a tikling, a bird found in the country, over two parallel bamboo poles set horizontally on the floor. The dance is made more challenging as the b…