Manila Vanilla

What it's like to be a U.S. Fulbright scholar, basketball player, journalist, and the whitest man in Metro Manila.

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Location: Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines

New Yorker by birth, shipped across the globe to the world of malls, shanty-towns, patronage, corruption, basketball and a curious burnt-toast smell that wafts around at dusk

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Hoax of the century: I dunk.

I'm foolin' nobody.

Maybe someone needs to believe in it before it can actually be called a hoax. Me dunking may be the great hoax that never was, in that case. As soon as I showed the picture of me dunking to my friends, their immediate reaction was "How'd you do that?" "Was it a low hoop?" "Did you get a boost?"

Then I posted the picture on my online networking profiles, and the skeptical E-mails came pouring in. One of my college teammates wrote: "Get up Rafe! Did your ups increase or is that a low hoop?" I pleaded the fifth.

My friend who played on the Sciences Po basketball team with me in Paris during our semester abroad and whom I regularly fed alley-oops to wrote a message titled simply "hahaha" and added "Nothing like getting yourthrow-back-Shawn Kemp-on while the villagers watch in awe." I think by "getting your Shawn Kemp on" he means doing coke and gaining 80 pounds, because I'm more likely to go down that road than dunk a real basketball on a regulation hoop.

I can't get no respect.


Blogger coach said...

you look like purdue dunking

5:15 AM  
Anonymous H.S. Teacher said...

In the background of the photo you can see all the street people, mothers and children, what the rich Filipinos probably call the rabble. (what's the Tagalog word for "rabble?") That they should gather in such numbers to watch a white man stuff a ball through a makeshift hoop--what's going on here? Would they gather to watch a 6'4" Filipino dunk? Or are YOU the spectacle? Is it the combination of white man and "dunking?" What does it signify? What is being shared here? It's a strange icon or symbol of something going on between culture and sport and class. A photo is truly worth alot of questions, if not explanations.

4:20 AM  

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