Sunday, April 25

Then he smiled...

Just an hour ago while waiting for my bus to go, I watched people passing by. There were so many of them, in two's, three's, four's, and many, alone, deep in his own thoughts. I was particularly interested when I saw a middle-aged man come out of a grill resto, holding a plastic bag and feeling its contents with the other hand. Then he smiled. It was a happy smile and pure and innocent as a child's. Smiling for what, I'll never know. I can only guess and my guess is that, this man was smiling this kind of smile because his immediate need to eat will soon be answered...and it was innocent because he has no other concern other than food and while feeling the contents of the plastic bag, he knew his need is answered. And because he's a bit insane (that's what I think), he has a childlike smile. No normal middle-aged human being smiles like that anymore. He has lots of other things to do, ambitions to work so hard for, promises to keep, problems to solve. So if it was a normal or sane or however you describe it middle-aged man who came out of the resto, chances are, he would be frowning because it was sweltering hot and humid and it was already 1:00PM and his family is waiting and that's his just-for-the-moment concern.

So how many kinds of smile do sane human beings wear?


SmileThe King Never Smiles: A Biography of Thailand's Bhumibol Adulyadej

Never Smile at a Monkey: And 17 Other Important Things to Remember

Smile for No Good Reason

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Wednesday, April 21

Evening sky at K of C Drive

First of all, K of C means Knights of Columbus. And K of C Drive is a street that is slightly sloping down to a promenade by the Tagbilaran Bay...a quite popular point where you can see the silhouettes of Panglao Island and Cebu contrasted against a tangerine and purple sky at sunset. Why it's named K of C Drive is obvious. It is where the main properties of K of C are located: the main building (which is quite old) and the K of C Recreation Center where the oldest bowling alley is still open to the playing public. Also, K of C Recreation Center offers table tennis, billiard, dart and board games. Before I drift farther from my main topic, let me just say: Now you

Even though watching table tennis games is exciting for me, I always spare some time for sky watching..especially at that point in time when day says hello and goodbye to night; the
blending of beautiful colours at dusk. Within that brief communion with nature, is an awesome experience for me that somehow makes the rough edges of living bearable. And the soft breeze from the ocean that carries a waft of brine feels like deja vu (don't ask why) and of grilled fish and barbecue when soft winds changed direction...which makes me hungry LOL

Astronomy 101 - A Beginners Guide to the Night Sky

Sunset (Watching Over Water) Black Wood-Mounted Art Poster Print - 13" X 19"

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Sunday, April 18

Ping Pong: continued

I've been meaning to include this in yesterday's post...

One of the favorite topics that Class A table tennis players discuss is the what brand and type of rubber is good for a certain player or style of playing. It's funny though but they do take it seriously. Like for example when a player announces that he just bought one rubber (or two for both sides), then everybody would stop whatever they're doing to inspect it, give comments and ask how much and where (especially when they think it's a bargain!) and then proceed to attaching it to the wood. They do it ceremoniously too ^_^ Really! Having a good paddle is important to them.

One day, when a situation like this happened again, I was really curious. I wanted to know why so much ado about a paddle???? So after the commotion died down, I asked Sir Bitoy, (one of the top players in Bohol) about it. He explained that when you're a good player, you also have to have a good paddle -meaning, the best that you can afford. And also, he continued, you have to know each rubber and what it can do to augment your style of playing. A paddle contributes so much to the outcome of a game of table tennis. To sum it up: good paddle + good player = good performance.

How about the wood? I asked again, this time, Sir Peter. Good thing he was more than glad to explain..afterall, it's his favorite topic!!! He explained: The wood is just as important. It has to be rigid so when you whack it for a fast ball, it doesn't vibrate much. So we can't use an ordinary wood? No. It will break easily. No solid wood that thin could withstand a rough playing. Ordinary plywood? Not good either...(but I can't remember what he told me). So what makes a paddle wood much better? Sir Peter stood up and took his paddle and showed me the siding of the wood. See this black layer at the middle? This is carbon. So if your wood has this, then you have a good wood. So, to recap: good wood + good rubber = good paddle; and good paddle + good --..okay, got the drift...

adios, mi amigos y amigas...hasta la vista!!

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Ping Pong, anyone?

Actually, it's table tennis. We just say ping pong because it's easier to say hey! let's play ping pong! Two syllables versus four. ^_^

Well, anyway, whichever way you call it, the players love this sport. They play; they watch; and they talk about it enthusiastically. It's fun just listening to them talk about -what else? pingpong! and watching them play and do a certain backhand stroke that makes a ball spin wildly up and far off the table when an opponent doesn't know how to counter it, makes me smile a smile that could eat a banana sideways LOL...and say to myself, I can do that...ahem.

The class A players, I found out, are always practicing. They have to keep it up so they play at least three times a week but some of them play everyday for at least two hours every time. The class B, which are quite good players too, are the younger ones...mostly students, therefore, practice less because of lack of playing time and money. Some are lucky to have supporting parents who practice with them and pay the bill.

There's never a dull moment when they play. It's quite interesting to see each serve style and how it spins or stops the ball somewhere near the net. One Class A player,Sir Opong, sometimes do an antic serve that never fails to make everybody laugh and set the mood light and enjoyable. And the good thing is, no matter how the opponents take the game seriously, and inevitably say the f*** and s*** words when they miss a ball, the game always end up with high fives or a handshake. It feels good to observe such sportsmanship and camaraderie in action. Come to think of it: Politicians should PLAY table tennis to ward off ill feelings towards opponents!!

There's one thing though that bothers the current Class A players who also are the officials of their table tennis club. There are not many Class B players to choose from to become Class A that would in years to come, be the officials of the group. They lack funds to keep up with expenses for tournaments. They need sponsors and sponsors are hard to find. I asked Sir Peter, the president of the BTTC, why he thinks tournaments are so important and he said: Tournaments are a motivation to be better players, Tournaments are something to look forward to. Tournaments are a natural way of choosing officially who among the Class D would become Class C and who among the Class C would become Class B and so on...which would answer to their quest for future leaders of BTTC (Bohol Table Tennis Club) when the time comes that the officials are too old to stop a spinning a ball. I'm not saying that the need is urgent though...the current officials are still young to even think about retirement. It's just that becoming a Class A table tennis player is a long process. We are not talking about months of playing but years...lots of years and lots of tournaments and competitions to win. It's not just how well you play. You have to prove it. Now that really is something to think about.

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