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How many times do a person need to play a sport before he or she considers that game as his/he sport?  Does it have to be a daily playing of the sport? Once a week? Once a month?  Do a player needs to receive a prize or a medal for winning the game before he or she considers that sport his/her sport?  Or do you have to enlist yourself to legit and recognized sport organization so that you can call that sport your sport?

Or do you simply need to know the mechanics of the sport, be a knowledgeable on who are the legends and superstars of that sport and you just have to simply have to be an avid fan of such a sport before you can consider that sport your sport?

If the basis for having a sport is the last question, without any shoes or any gear, then my sport would be tennis.  But for other basis or criteria of having a sport, then I can easily say that I don’t have one.

Maybe playing a sport is not in my genes and bloodstream.  In the past, every time a soul would ask me what’s my sport, without butting an eyelash and feeling sedimentary, I would simply say “none” then start justifying that sports are only for people who needs to exhibit hatred, vent out ones boastfulness and dispense their sadistic pleasures.

But this is until recently when for the third consecutive year of visiting the bucolic municipality of Baler, I guess I can consider myself of finally having a sport.  That would be SURFING!  No not windsurfing or kite surfing or internet surfing.  Its beach surfing!  Yeah!  This is my third time on three consecutive years to surf the soft-sanded Sabang Beach of Baler.  Would this count?

a short re-briefing...

a short re-briefing…

as usual someone needs to carry my surf board for me. hahaha!

as usual someone needs to carry my surf board for me. hahaha!

i heart baler

i heart baler

surf is up! hahaha!

surf is up! hahaha!

I have yet to know technical terms of the sport like tubing, windswell, crumbly and pearling, but I’m definitely stoked every time I got to surf.  It may only be my third time but I already feel like I’m a Kahuna!  Kahuna by the way according to surfers are the wizards and magicians of surfing!  Hahaha!

Now ask me.  What’s my sport?

You, what’s your sport?

‘Yun nga lang… nakaka-hingal!

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Grand Slam tennis tournaments (may it be the Wimbeldonn, the US Open, Roland Garros, or the Aussie Open) are full and bombarded with statistics.  Their organizers along with various sports networks and correspondents makes the sport more interesting through the usage of various statistical analyses and historical data about the game.

With the recent fantastic win of my most favorite tennis player in history during the 2017 Australian Open edition, let me feature my own stats concerning Roger Federer and the recently concluded championship match.

Zero. Zero is the number of times I watched tennis grand slam match last year.  I seem to have lost interest about the game when Roger Federer started losing in a string of tennis matches and Rafael Nadal seem to have hidden from the limelight due to injury.  Without this two, tennis for me – until just recently – seem to already become an uninteresting kind of sport to watch.

Nil That is the volume of my expectation that I would get to actually see Roger Federer again in a Majors championship.  Nil, null or nothing was also my level of expectancy that Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal would battle it out in the finals of a Grand Slam title.  But stars seemed to have realigned and let these two legends reach the finals of the 2017 Australian Open.

Countless.  While watching the championship game, I lost count on the number of times I shrieked, shouted and cheered every time Roger Federer wins a point against Rafa Nadal.  I also lost count on how many times I gasp for air every time Rafa would fix his shorts or pick his wedgie before every serve.

legends of modern tennis

legends of modern tennis

Thirty Five and Ten.  As if defying physical drawbacks like skin sagging, joint pains, poor eyesight and reduction in motor agility that comes along with old age, 35 is the age of Roger Federer when he won last Sunday’s tennis championship.  While 10 (from the range of 0 being the lowest and 10 being the highest) shall remain my rating in terms of the hotness of Rafael Nadal.

Five This is the number of times I fervently prayed to the heavens during the recent Aussie Open Federer vs Nadal championship match.  Since it took Federer 5 sets to win, every freakin’ set, I prayed “God! Please let Roger win!”

Eighteen.  After winning the Australian Open 2017sweet eighteen is the huge and unbelievable number of times that my idol Roger Federer won the Grand Slam tournaments.  And what is so sweet about this 18th Majors title is that he won it over a match with Rafa whom I suppose he considers his greatest nemesis in the game of tennis.  Nadal I believe is the legendary tennis player who actually prevented Federer from winning more grand slam championships!

One Hundred.  I’m not a Swiss, I have never been to Switzerland and I don’t play tennis.  But a solid 100% shall I remain to being a huge fan of Roger Federer!

18th

18th

Kongrats Manong Rodger! Mabuhay ka!

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With the present psyche of the Philippine society being backed up by extreme and ambiguous religious belief, I have long accepted the fact that legalizing same sex marriage in this country would be so remote.  Thus, asking a famous boxer and part-time politician in a country where the majority of its populace are unfortunately not in the side of reason, if he agrees or disagrees on same sex marriage is nothing but pointless.  The system will not change in case he agrees with same sex-marriage anyway.

There has been a lot of people who opposes same sex marriage but these people were prudent and human enough not to compare LGBT people to being inferior to animals.  And though I disagree with them, I respected these people’s stance. But what broke my heart was Manny Pacquiao’s cruel statement of comparing the LGBT to being worse than animals.

the personalized shirt i would use during boxing events of manny. i don't know what to do with it now... its eating some precious space nn my cabinet...

the proof of my being a fan. the personalized shirt i would use during boxing events of manny. i don’t know what to do with it now… its eating some precious space in my cabinet…

Manny Pacquiao uttering this insensitive and idiotic idea made my respect for him simply fade away.  My being a fan simply vanished out into smithereens.  He is definitely awful and is one serious disappointment.  To those who think that what he said was okay, I’m sorry to all of you because Manny himself know that he was mistaken.  He would not apologize if he knows that he was not off beam.

Yeah, he has apologized but sorry the emotionally wounding damage has been done and though it may heal (hopefully soon), forever will remain one ugly scar.

And from the last time I checked prior to Mr. Pacquiao’s atrocious statement, my married LGBT friends who are living in a peaceful and productive lives has not in any way hurt or even negatively affected the boxing and political career of Mr. Pacquiao.  I don’t see the reason why he would disappointingly hurt them then?

Sabi nga ni Manang Madonna… “Bits get op may powl”!

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In sports, a nation would normally get so proud when their athletes win a game, earned a medal or was judged a champion.  But in the recent bid of the Philippines to host the 2019 FIBA World Cup, no medal was won, no victory was claimed, neither did my country was declared a winner, yet, my country’s bid was an astounding feat that my very being was truly very much proud of.

We may have lost the bid to superpower China, but the fact remains that I and my fellow Filipinos’ obsession and adoration for basketball is unmatched around the globe.  My country in the present generation may have yet to win a major international basketball competition, but one thing is for sure, embedded in our genes are our passion and love for the game.

Though for sure the organizers recognized that we have the heart, perhaps they were too afraid that we might not have the adequate facilities and operational necessities.  They failed to realize that every Filipino would be very much willing to conjoin and combine forces and resources in attaining the needed infrastructures and technical abilities so as to achieve success in the hosting of the games.  They failed to fathom the fact that every Filipino knows and understands by heart that the FIBA World Cup is the basketball of all basketballs.  They failed to recognize that their basketball could be the seat and turning point in the improvement, progress and unification a nation.

it's in our genes...

it’s in our genes…

Losing to China after such a moving presentation by the Team Philippines during the bidding program felt like me and the rest of the Filipino people seem to have bigger hearts for basketball as compared to those of the organizers.

Too bad, the movers and shakers of FIBA seem not yet ready to feel the thunderous cheers and roaring merriment that Filipinos exudes during basketball games.    It could have been one big infectious  party around the world and it could have been one momentous history for basketball.

Tri poynt shat ang prawdnes ko sa presenteyshon! Super!

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Being a 100% Filipino living all throughout my delicious life in the hot tropics of Metro Manila, my DNA for sure is not coded for winter season and much worse for a winter sport.  But with my exceptional passion and spirit to be acquainted with these uncommon affairs, I built up enough guts to master what needs to be mastered about winter and its associated sport.

enjoying the cold with nengkoy and erika

enjoying the cold with nengkoy and erika

with dr. william smith scott at sapporo hitsujigaoka observatory hill

with dr. william smith scott at sapporo hitsujigaoka observatory hill

my dear sister on a fine powdery snow...

my dear sister on a fine powdery snow…

my three japan-based "pamangkins"

my three japan-based “pamangkins”

That is why while I was in Sapporo in Hokkaido, Japan, the host of the 1972 Winter Olympics, I took the opportunity to try and pursue the sport of skiing.  And true enough, I easily mastered the art of sliding down the snowy slopes of Sapporo.

Just watch the short video below on how I did the various skiing maneuvers.  From the Iron Cross, to 540 turn, to the Daffy aerial trick, to the Lincoln Loop and of course the Back Flip aerial maneuver. Given another 2 days, I believe I can win the world cup in both slalom and downhill categories.

But seriously, I think skiing is an extremely difficult winter sport that demands great physical stamina and skill.  I actually fell four times while doing a single round of the snow-filled Ishikari Plain at the Hitsujigaoka Observation Hill.

I also learned that falling with the ski on is much easier than standing up from it.  It took less than a second to plunge down on my butt but took me more than a minute to stand up and regain my balance.    I was not embarrassed though because the few people who were also skiing for the first time were also slipping and tumbling like tired toy soldiers.

And guess what? Right after I finished what seem to be an endless round of skiing, I was sweating so profusely I was craving for a strawberry ice cream!  It was never in my wildest dream to ski, but the experience is truly one for the books.

Pinawisan ako. Pramis!

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gilas pilipinas fans

sis-boom-ba! (photo from Gilas Pilipinas Facebook page)

Long hours of grueling drill and practice is not needed to be acclaimed as one.  Rehearsals would virtually be impossible if it would involve the whole population of a nation.  What’s simply needed is the devoted and enthusiastic ‘heart’ of everyone.

I am talking about the Philippines being awarded as the Most Valuable Fan – Best Country category in the recently concluded FIBA Basketball World Cup held in Spain.

I guess this is the first time in more than a lifetime that organizers of FIBA Basketball World Cup saw for themselves, how Filipino fans cheered in full thrill and hysterics.  I am supposing that these organizers do not watch the annual Ms. Universe pageant where Filipino viewers would elicit similar fits of frenzy and hysteria.

Considering that at the start of the game, it has been predicted that the Philippines will most likely not gonna win any game, I was not surprised that still cheering was like a party for every Philippine game.  This is simply because Filipinos are mad about basketball.

FIBA officers must have been told that the cheering shindig does not only happen inside the venue.  The immeasurable passion of the Filipinos are present at every household in the Philippines making the country deserving such an award.  The recognition actually seem so hollow and futile that other countries must be laughing at us because of such a silly consolation.  Yet I and my fellow noisy bunch of Filipinos feels so proud and honored.  This is simply because we are so in love with the sport.

O ayan! Stan ap en teyk a baw…

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luis gabriel moreno (photo grabbed from filipino.china.com site)

luis gabriel moreno (photo grabbed from filipino.china.com site)

It’s not Alma the actress. It’s not Isko the politician.  It’s not Tito Germs the TV host.  Neither is it a moreno (brown olive) skinned human being.  It is a Moreno-surnamed-athlete who made me so proud and so happy today.  Luis Gabriel Moreno, an archery events athlete just won a gold medal in this year’s Youth Olympics presently being held in Nanjing China.

With nothing to watch on TV today while I do my laundry, I settled watching TV5 network this afternoon.  Not even aware that Youth Olympics is ongoing, I settled on watching a Mixed Archery event upon knowing that one of the athletes competing was a Filipino.

The sports feature started during the quarterfinals match of Moreno with his Chinese partner, Li Jiaman. I was initially not expecting anything because before the game started a sports anchor announced and flashed on the screen the medal tally of the ongoing Youth Olympics.  And to no surprise the Philippines – as usual – has yet to win a medal.

a true green archer in every sense of the word (photo grabbed from philippinestar.com)

a true green archer in every sense of the word (photo grabbed from philippinestar.com)

But interest and uneasiness about the mixed archery game fired up when Moreno and his partner won the game to qualify for the semi-finals.  And when the tandem won their match to qualify for the grand finals and compete for the gold medal, I was already ecstatic.

I was so nervous watching the event and I was clapping my hands every time Moreno and his Chinese teammate hits the 9s or the perfect 10s.  I was screaming ‘Yes! Yes! Yes!’  And I was praying to the heavens to give this event to the Philippines and China.

The general feeling was reminiscent of me watching the tennis matches of Roger Federer or me watching the boxing bouts of The Great Manny Pacquiao on TV.  When Moreno swished his last arrow to clinch the gold medal beating the Malaysia-Germany tandem, I was shouting, clapping, jumping and earnestly praying saying thank you.

The TV anchor then appeared looking very proud and equally ecstatic saying that this is the first medal for the Philippines in this year’s Youth Olympics.  And that the young Moreno is a student of De La Salle, thus literally living up to the bill of being a true Green Archer.

Well, today is the National Heroes Day and I am glad to be feeling proud.  I guess Luis Gabriel Moreno achieved something great, worthy of being called a young hero of this country.

Kongrachuleyshons kang bata ka!

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Nengkoy is the nickname of my mom during her pre-school years. Her parents and relatives call her ‘Ang Neneng Ko’. With her pretty charm and appeal, she was usually called in a melodic way using this lovely phrase. Until it evolved for easier articulation of the phrase, Ang Neneng Ko was shorten to Nengkoy.

Nengkoy

Nengkoy is the nickname of my mom during her pre-school years. Her parents and relatives call her ‘Ang Neneng Ko’. With her pretty charm and appeal, she was usually called in a melodic way using this lovely phrase. Until it evolved for easier articulation of the phrase, Ang Neneng Ko was shorten to Nengkoy.