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

Friday, February 16, 2007

Footprints



Images like these make me downright mushy. They're a common sight at basketball courts all over the Philippines. The grassy area around the perimeter of a cement court becomes a graveyard for sneakers' soles. People use a pair until the rubber bottom peels off. Then it gets kicked to the side of the court and lingers there, partly as a memento of all the hard fouls and fast breaks it survived, and partly as a send-off into oblivion where the grass slowly grows over the remains. If you were a basketball shoe, isn't this how you'd want to live and die -- on the feet of someone who treasured you so much that he wore you until you literally fell to pieces, then finding eternal rest with front row seats to the game that was your raison d'ĂȘtre?

I try not to get carried away like this often. It's pretty likely my rhapsodic basketball musing is all fantasy. People wear their shoes until the point of near-disintegration because they're expensive. They leave them behind at the court because no one in their right mind goes around picking up old rubber soles (or taking pictures of them). But for an outsider, one who doesn't understand everything Filipino but who shares Filipinos' love for basketball, images like this -- the footprints, the homemade backboard nailed to a coconut tree, the dust cloud that follows every dribble on a dirt court -- are some of the most beautiful sights in the country.

5 Comments:

Blogger Leah said...

interesting how you use disintegrated rubber soles as a source of inspiration

1:40 PM  
Anonymous NYC Teacher said...

Only in the Philippines would you be able to find this photograph. Maybe in other countries you'd find soccer shoe soles, but never basketball shoe soles. This photo is magnificent in that it shows their love for a game that transcends the mere playing of a sport. You're on to something, go for the ride & come back with the story.

9:14 AM  
Blogger kikomeister said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2:39 AM  
Blogger kikomeister said...

that my friend is a beautiful piece of poetry. well written.

2:40 AM  
Blogger PAK MUS said...

saya mengucapkan banyak terimakasih kepada KI HADAK yang telah menolong saya dalam kesulitan,ini tidak pernah terfikirkan dari benak saya kalau nomor yang saya pasang bisa tembus dan ALHAMDULILLAH kini saya sekeluarga sudah bisa melunasi semua hutang2 kami,sebenarnya saya bukan penggemar togel tapi apa boleh buat kondisi yang tidak memunkinkan dan akhirnya saya minta tolong sama KI HADAK dan dengan senang hati beliau mau membantu saya..,ALHAMDULIL LAH nomor yang dikasi KI semuanya bener2 terbukti tembus dan baru kali ini saya menemukan dukun yang jujur,jangan anda takut untuk menhubungiya jika anda ingin mendapatkan nomor yang betul2 tembus seperti saya,silahkan hubungi KI HADAK DI 085=259=457=111 ingat kesempat tidak akan datang untuk yang kedua kalinya dan perlu anda ketahui kalau banyak dukun yang tercantum dalam internet,itu jangan dipercaya kalau bukan nama KI HADAK
BUKA INI DANA GHAIB TOGEL










saya mengucapkan banyak terimakasih kepada KI HADAK yang telah menolong saya dalam kesulitan,ini tidak pernah terfikirkan dari benak saya kalau nomor yang saya pasang bisa tembus dan ALHAMDULILLAH kini saya sekeluarga sudah bisa melunasi semua hutang2 kami,sebenarnya saya bukan penggemar togel tapi apa boleh buat kondisi yang tidak memunkinkan dan akhirnya saya minta tolong sama KI HADAK dan dengan senang hati beliau mau membantu saya..,ALHAMDULIL LAH nomor yang dikasi KI semuanya bener2 terbukti tembus dan baru kali ini saya menemukan dukun yang jujur,jangan anda takut untuk menhubungiya jika anda ingin mendapatkan nomor yang betul2 tembus seperti saya,silahkan hubungi KI HADAK DI 085=259=457=111 ingat kesempat tidak akan datang untuk yang kedua kalinya dan perlu anda ketahui kalau banyak dukun yang tercantum dalam internet,itu jangan dipercaya kalau bukan nama KI HADAK
BUKA INI DANA GHAIB TOGEL

11:13 PM  

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