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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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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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While everyone has gone so gaga on cheering for their favorite team at the ongoing FIFA World Cup, let me extend the biggest applause to the team with the most worthy jersey design.  I know that design wise, athletic uniform companies has not much can do.  But when they come up with awesome designs, it would of course worthy to be praised about.

viva argentina!

viva argentina! (ezequiel lavezzi & lionel messi)

Argentina is my favorite team to win in the World Cup this year.  Though team Argentina sports the most classic design (the iconic blue and white stripes), for me the best uniform this year goes to Team Ghana.

Best In Costume!

Best In Costume!

ghana jersey

I chose Team Ghana’s uniform because of the stylish neckline inset.  It is so remarkable!  The use of Kente cloth design which is indigenous native patterns of their country is so smart. This subtle tribute as done by Puma gives you a deep-seated feeling of pride and passion for the country that you represent.  Aside from paying homage to the rich culture of Ghana, another unique feature of this print design is that it beautifully frames the wearer’ face.

Team Ghana may unlikely to clinch the coveted trophy but still their jersey is undeniably true fashion worthy.

Manalo, matalo, best in kostyum kayo mga ‘tol!   

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alexei nemov

Now that the London Olympics is on, have you ever wondered what your Olympic event be if you were an athlete?

Only now that it dawned in me that the Olympic event I would be in if I were an athlete is men’s gymnastics.  At a very limited chance that I got to catch a men’s gymnastics game on TV, I am always at awe with the combined strength, form and acrobatics of these athletes.

I guess for me this is one complete sport and besides no one in my country has been sent to compete in gymnastics event in the Olympics (my country with a population’s average height of 5 feet 5 inches is so obsessed with basketball).  Also no male gymnast has been chosen as the Athlete of the Year by ESPY.

Yeah, I have always been a fan of tennis but I will leave that sport to my idol Federer besides everybody can whack a ball with a tennis racket. For me it is easier to swim, dribble a ball, punch an opponent, throw a discus, shoot a target or dash to a 100 meter distance.  But not everybody can twirl with flair on a pommel horse, hang like a monkey on a high bar, fly and twist from a vault, do intricate tumbling passes on the floor, swing and spin on still rings and defy gravity on the parallel bars.

Gymnastics is not considered an extreme sport but through the years of its evolution through discoveries and inventions of various intricate moves I do consider it as one.  Modern acrobatic styles are very risky it can actually result to broken bones or torn muscles.  It takes a lifetime to achieve the form, strength, agility and discipline to perfect this sport.

So to those male gymnasts competing may it be in your local school event or in the high and mighty Olympics I have nothing but high regard for the sport you have chosen.  In case the sport become famous or remains mediocre in popularity I will always be at awe every time I will get the chance to watch a game.

Perpek ten ang skor ko sa sport na ‘to!

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So the Gods, the odds and karma are again in favor of Manny Paquiao.  His win today against the bigger Antonio Margarito only confirms that Paquiao is the greatest boxer in modern history.  Every time Pacquiao wins a boxing fight, I am always so impressed by how the heavens answer the intense prayers of Nanay Dionisia (his mother).  Also, every time Pacquiao wins a fight, I always remember my first ever encounter with this boxing hero.

It was more than a decade ago when I was still working as the Head of HR in 3-star Royal Palm Hotel (now Lotus Garden Hotel) located in Ermita, Manila.   Pacquiao then was a budding boxing athlete who could hardly speak the English language and was worth less than a million pesos.  He was not yet popular then.  Even the boxing ring announcers during that time could hardly pronounce his name.  He is either introduced as “Pakyeyiyow” or “Pekyaw”

Pacquiao during that year was due to have a boxing fight in Manila with Mexican Gabriel Mira and no five-star hotel (I suppose) agreed to sponsor both fighters’ hotel room so the organizers settled with ours.  Both Pacquiao’s and Mira’s team were billeted in our hotel.

I remember the owner of the hotel instructed me, Mr. Sal Magugat the Resident Manager and Mr. Oca Bangayan the Head of the Security to ensure that Pacquiao be given the most comfortable room.  On the other hand, she further ordered that Mira be assigned in a crib where the noisiest air conditioning unit is situated or in a chamber located on the street-side of the hotel where the earsplitting engines and honking of public utility vehicles (like jeepneys and taxi cabs) can be heard inside the room.  That’s just precisely what we did.

The following day, it was in all broadcast media that Manny Pacquiao retained his WBC Flyweight World Title and was tagged as boxer with the greatest potential to be the next boxing hero of the Philippines.  Let me clarify that Pacquiao did not cheat it’s just that his opponent was puyat (without sleep).

Isang sikretong pati si Pekyaw di alam…

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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.