Little Lessons On Becoming Filipino: College Basketball Games (UAAP)
A tip for those relocated/relocating to Manila: Manila has everything. Find something you love, baskets, basketball, remote control cars, crafting, improve - I don’ care - whatever it is, if you look for it, you will find it here (or you can make it happen!) So, if you’re new here or struggling to love Manila, identify a personal value or what brings you fulfillment, and find it here! If you need help, I am here for you. Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You guys, we got bit by the bug and we cannot deny it.
(not dengue, but we did get bit by that bug too. ahhh, manila.)
College Basketball, UAAP, in Manila is our new obsession.
Have you been to a game? They are so fun! I cannot tell you how much fun they are, I must show you, then you must experience it for yourself.
A Sea Of Blue And Green|
We were fortunate enough to attend a De La Salle vs Ateneo game. It was INTENSE. I had no idea we were experiencing such a cultural experience. I later learned that this rivalry started all the way back in the 1940’s. Crazy, talaga. You can read more about the rivalry history here.
i haven’t quite figured the seating out. it seems when you buy tickets for a game you let them know which team you are rooting for and that will indicated which side of the stadium you sit on. crazy!
The half-time show was impressive. It’s one of my favorite parts of any sporting event because I love dancing and music. I learned that most half-time shows for sporting events in the Philippines aren’t accompanied by recorded music but by their live band, usually consisting of drums.
A Few Learnings|
It’s loud - I had no idea how loud the games would be. They are SO LOUD. Louder than any sound I have ever heard. You can barely speak with the person next to you. The entire game has a drumming background beat from the band of both competing teams. When I say entire, I actually mean the E N T I R E game. My younger two sons had a harder time with the noise, we brought headphones the next game to cancel out some sound.
It’s Communal - As an expat we often feel isolated as we are in a different country than our own, different culture and away from our family. Being a part of a communal activity was cathartic for me. I felt I lifted up the curtain of a Filipino cultural experience and was invited to come in and participate. I LOVED IT. WE ALL LOVED IT. (even with extreme loudness.)
It’s energizing - Events that spotlight human capability are always energizing. When you watch someone perform a skill or talent they have worked so hard for and that you get to be a part of by yelling and cheering - it really is a boost for the human soul.
Cultural experience - Basketball is a big deal in the Philippines in general. It’s my favorite when on a road trip we spot basketball courts in the most precarious places. We once drove by a basketball court overlooking the ocean from a slight cliff. It was amazing. Experiencing a college basketball game in Manila was a legit cultural experience and one I highly recommend.
A Few tips|
Pack Headphones - As you read earlier, it’s really loud.
Go With A Local - Most cultural experiences are better when you have a local who is there to help educate you and sink deeper into the experience. Shout out to Tita Jenny who introduces me to so many amazing experiences in the Philippines. We love her like family. Pinoys are so friendly, all you have to do is try and they will take you in.
Wear A Team Color & Cheer - Since we are foreigners and new to the college basketball scene we have no team preference. We don’t really care who wins, we just want to be a part of the experience. (With time, I think we will develop a preference. :) It is our advantage that we don’t have a specific team because then we can cheer for any team! If you invite us to a game, all you have to do is let us know what color to wear and you have 5 more fans.
Go USTe, Go USTe, Go USTe, GO GO GO!
my ferocious UST lion
Get Blued sent us over some swag and the boys went NUTS! They’ve worn the shirts daily and haven’t stopped drawing in their Ateneo notebooks. Now, we have yellow and blue covered, what color do you wear? Maroon? Green? :)
At the end of every game the respective colleges taking their turns singing their university hymnal. such a lovely tradition.
Always Grateful |
I am forever grateful for Filipinos who open their hearts and arms and envelope my family like their own. Our lives are blessed because of people like Tita Jenny and Tito Jed who have taken us in and showed us the wonders of the Philippines.
My challenge to you dear reader, if you’re stuck in a rut or just wanting more, identify what gives you happiness and fulfillment and find that in Manila. We have everything here, and if not, make it happen!