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, September 18, 2008

Sweeter than Buck Williams. Milkier than Kurt Rambis

Rebound Milk Chocolate, exhibit number 4,693 of basketball's commercial appeal in the Philippines, is a notably ridiculous attempt by some business owner to cash in on basketball's significance in local culture. The product is just a small, round piece of chocolate wrapped in tin foil with basketball designs on it. The choice to associate candy with rebounding is a mysterious one. Grabbing boards is an undeniably important part of the game, but like noted rebounders Buck Williams and Kurt Rambis, it's neither glamorous or sweet. If I had to compare rebounding to a food, it would probably be broccoli, not milk chocolate. But, since basketball is used to sell everything from tires to margarine, I won't second-guess the experts, who seem convinced that slapping a basketball on the package can improve just about any product.

The back of the bag reads: "Rebound -- a key offensive and defensive skills (sic) in basketball which results in winning the game." Mmmm, tasty! Then: "Now!!! Rebound is the new chocolate basketball that will win you and your games always."

You had me at "rebound."


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