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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Nat Geo's PINOY HOOPS uncovers Pinoys' basketball obsession! (Premieres Oct. 21)


Aside from Philippine's signature dish adobo, the Philippines and its people can be defined by two things: Videoke and Basketball.  Every family, barangay or town commune or celebrate life via adobo, videoke and bastketball! I bet you'll agree with me in this statement.  

Why Basketball?  Why is there an undying love for basketball among Filipinos?  These questions are what National Geographic Channel wants to answer in its new series Pinoy Hoops!  PINOY HOOPS is hosted by Rafe Batholomew, author of the best-selling book Pacific Rims (this is not the robot-alien mosnters movie hehe), who will guide televiewers on a journey to the very heart of basketball-obsessed country to uncover why the sport has been embraced wholeheartedly by Filipinos from all walks of life.

Rafe Bartholomew

At the press launch of PINOY HOOPS, guests were treated to the episode one of the said documentary. Rafe, with some local guides and his crew, went around the country and checked how basketball became a life's necessity among Pinoys.  He went to the roughest neighborhoods as well as the most remote mountainsides, he talked to some unique characters to whom basketball is not just a sport but a way of life - Filipinos live and breathe this game.

I must admit, I'm not a fan of the sports because I find it too western for us and I always support the underdog and minority (sports included), but i really got hooked with the documentary.  Before, all I thought about the sport  is it just cements our colonial mentality, makes us believe or gives us false hopes that the not-so-tall Filipinos can really be basketball champions and blindly idolize the American icons of basketball.  But the documentary was able to open my eyes and mind how basketball has been imprinted in Filipinos' DNA.  I somehow felt ashamed of myself for looking at basketball that way and how Bartholomew, an American, was able to understand why the game was embraced by many Filipinos, how it changed the lives of our countrymen, and why it's needed  by the current and next generation, from all walks of life.  While watching the docu, I somehow felt I was a foreigner too, learning these new things about the Pinoy basketball, which are just around the corner for me!  And I am amazed and happy with what I discovered. :)

Although an American, Bartholomew provides a great insight in Philippine basketball, knowing more about Filipinos' relationship with sport than most locals.  His book Pacific Rim was written while Bartholomew was on a Fullbright scholarship in the country, on which he embarked in  November 2005,  For three years, he learned the language, immersed himself in local communities, and researched on the role of basketball in Philippine society.  Bartholomew's sociable research methods and obvious love for the sport helped him delve deeper into the psyche of basketball-loving Filipino despite his default setback as an outsider.  

Pinoy Hoops took two years to make and offers an authentic, unsanitized look at Philippine basketball curated by an expert who took great care to get to know Filipinos and their deep relationship with the sport. 

As expected, kudos to Nat Geo for coming up with this brilliant modern documentary!  

Catch the premiere of PINOY HOOPS on October 21, Monday at 9 pm only on National Geographic Channel!

And with that, Pinoy Hoops is now TaDified!
That's the foydi way! :)

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