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Monday, August 26, 2019

Padilla: Baguio Filipino Elderly Month Celebration 2017: A Treasured Gem

THE city-wide celebration of the 2017 Filipino Elderly Month has come and gone. But surely, the series of joyful events in the month-long program are treasured chest gems. To all Lolos and Lolas and the throng of supporters and participants of the episode, accept our heartfelt thanks! The CSWDO, OSCA, and the Baguio Elderly Assembly, the joint sponsors of the annual celebration convey its congratulations to one and all for the overwhelming success of the celebration. The set of pictures in column captured the grandeur of the Gintong Tala Awards Rites and the Pista sa Nayon held at the Baguio Convention Center last October 25. May God bless us all.

Are we the arena na

The Philippines has just launched its bid to be the arena for the greatest basketball show. The FIBA World Cup of Basketball for 2023 hopefully will be here. Together with Okinawa, Japan and Jakarta, Indonesia and the Philippines hopes to win as the arena for this.

Clustering is now the concept being introduced for this. Alone we couldn't even go against China. What more against Russia, Turkey or Argentina and Uruguay together. The diverse cultures of South East Asia is the come on. The arena is being staged to portray this to FIBA.

No less than the President, Rodrigo Roa Duterte has through the Sec. of Foreign Affairs Peter Cayetano and Former Secretary Del Rosario, pitching for this.

The number one selling point for this bid is Juans passion for basketball. FIBA has declared Juan as the Best Fans in the World. Juan lives basketball. Obviously. In Seville, Spain for the last World Cup a special award was given to Juan being the best fans in the World, obvious again from seeing how we cheered for Gilas Pilipinas.

I was honored for an invite to present the bid, the President failed to attend but has given full assurances to the FIBA officials who received Juans official bid. Chairman Emeritus of Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, MVP made the pitch for Juan.

As early as now, the arena here is already set. One is the MOA Arena where we hosted the OQT or the Olympic Qualifying Tournament won by France. The second is the largest indoor arena in the world. The Philippine Arena.

It was an honor once more to be given the privilege of having to see what I only get to see on TV, Engineering Wonders. I happen to pass by it every time I travel down South, and that's a lot trust me.

From the Balintawak tollgate heading North it is just 15 minutes. A vast structure awaits Juan. Upon entry Juan is just in awe from it. Just finding my assigned area was already a problem. You see it is just my first. I'm not familiar with the place. It is also very easy getting lost.

I'm just glad to have a driver to drop me off. Parking is also another thing. The call time was at 6pm. I just took my time and left MOA at 4 p.m. I got a call at 5 p.m. that my ticket was waiting already. I was still in Megamall. I even laughed at the idea of someone waiting that early.

I assumed that there won't be any food stalls inside so I even stopped for some at Burger King. Still taking my time. As soon as I got my ticket I was asked to be dropped off. I was asked to find my way to a line I could never have thought would be. It was so long. There was pushing and shoving, it was outside and it was humid.

I had to find a different way, I saw a lady asking a lonesome guard who was already irritated by many who wanted the same like me. Glad I name all the right name-drops. I knew it would all be confirmed anyway and knew too that my story will check out too.

It seemed very convincing so I was included in the entry. I felt like a gladiator in an arena. What an adventure it was. I still wasn't inside. I just had to take pictures and people watch. Throngs of fans, some in orange, most in red. There was battle after battle from all 36 thousand gladiators fighting their way in. I was just fortunate. My fault I guess for coming just on time. 5pm it should have been. Now I know.

I have been used to just getting in on time and knowing also where to go, this was different. My fault. And so I get in. All I had to do from then was follow the signs. Guard after guard I would ask for directions. They had no time to answer for any as they were still battling with the gladiators like me. Though I was probably the only Juan asking. Kindly.

In this arena 52 thousand may be able to watch the games. I was seated in the second set of bleachers on the 11th row from the floor. I thought it would have been near. I was wrong. The playing arena was so small from where I was.

5 gladiators from each team for this game 5 of the Governors Cup. Definitely one team victorious. There too were gladiators who fought it out in the stands. That is definite proof of how passionate we are of the sport.
For game 6 there was even more than the 52 thousand, it was recorded to be more than 53 thousand. I wonder how many will watch the do or die. The previous was already a record.

This is our arena, I hope it would be too for the FIBA 2023 World Cup of Basketball.
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