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

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Trinoma Impostor

I'm not really sure what big man in the left foreground is doing in this photograph. It looks like he's trying to show off a nipple ring or something, but he was among the many, many fans lined up in Trinoma mall's adidas store to see Arenas.

The more interesting moment, however, was after the in-store, when this guy, probably the only other athletic-looking black man in the building, showed up at the mall atrium to watch Arenas' mini-performance. Although he's about 6'5'', so maybe one and a half or two inches taller than Agent Zero, and much less broad-shouldered than Arenas, he was darkly complected enough to convince more than a few onlookers that he was actually the NBA All-Star they came to watch. Kids were asking for pictures and autographs, while others just gazed in astonishment, while this guy's mischievous friend in the green hat further misled people by yelling, "Gilbert! Gilbert!"


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