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

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Australia gets a taste of Barth

Even though I didn't get to thrill Australians with my "You call that a knife?" routine, I consider the interview a success.


Rafe Barth returns! Luckily, this time the interviewer gets my name right. Also, he's interviewing me about a topic much more dear to me than Philippine elections -- Philippine basketball. This ten minute podcast aired on Australian Broadcasting Corporation Radio National, which is like NPR Down Under. The interview -- on a show called Sports Factor -- was recorded, so I wasn't able to piss off a nation of listeners by making repeated Paul Hogan references, but I still had a great time talking to host Mick O'Regan. We touched on the general popularity of basketball in the Philippines; the roller coaster lifestyle of PBA imports, which swings from being called "idol" in the street and choosing from a pu-pu platter of Pinays on a near nightly basis to being called a "lemon" by coaches after poor shooting nights and replaced after a two-game losing streak; the "sporting tariff" on imports' heights, as Mick calls it; the roving bands of transvestite and old lady fans who serve as unofficial cheerleading squads for several PBA teams; and the PBA's coddling of its parent corporations, which includes naming teams after consumer goods like the hot dog-inspired Purefoods Tender Juicy Giants. I'm the second interview on the program, after O'Regan speaks with the founder of the Compton Cricket Club.

5 Comments:

Anonymous NYC Teacher said...

Great interview. The Aussies are a much more saavy people than we give them credit for. The Philippine obsession with basketball, though driven and funded by commercial interests, nonetheless seems to have a liberalizing influence on the social fabric, e.g. the gay fan factions. The WNBA here in the good old USA might be the closest analogue, but loses significance when the audience numbers are run. Multiple millions see the PBA games, as opposed to the same few thousands for the WNBA. Again, great interview. Lots of insights peppered with humor. Loved it.

1:55 PM  
Blogger Bill Fink said...

Hey Rafe,

Just found your blog. As a fellow hoops fan & former Manila resident, I'm glad to see you're getting plenty of exposure writing (& speaking) about basketball in the Philippines.

Hopefully this is sparking an avalanche of worldwide interest in the topic because...I'm writing a hoops-themed book on my year in the Philippines, entitled "Dunked in Manila." Check out http://dunkedinmanila.blogspot.com/ for some of the saga.

4:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great blog. I was wondering, since you're such a hoops fan, if you've ever visited the international basketball forums at interbasket.net . There's a whole subforum there devoted to Philippine basketball, and us Pinoys would welcome the viewpoint of someone who's technically an outsider but is at the same time has intimate knowledge or the local hoops scene.

1:43 AM  
Anonymous Dore said...

Great work.

5:56 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

11:09 PM  

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