Today I was reminded of something I discovered four years ago in Paris, when I spent ten straight hours at the Louvre because I felt compelled to see everything.
Beauty Is Exhausting.
After spending the whole day with the best-looking, most ridiculously fit guys I’ve ever met, what I really wanted to do was crash in my room at the Hyatt, take a hot bath, sit around in a fluffy bathrobe, order room service and watch C.S.I. I actually skipped dinner with the team. (There’s no need to slap me, who do you think I’m hanging out with tomorrow.) I do love being alone, what a relief to know it’s by choice.
My room is perfect. Kermit booked it for me on the internet. Kermit knows everything, I’m not kidding.
The guys are billeted for the night at a place called Switz Paradise. I am wary of hotels called “Paradise” because the name is probably ironic. Tomorrow they move to the tournament hotel, the five-star Sutera Harbour. In case you live in KK and want to see them.
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Mark Chatting of the Volcanoes is a diving instructor. His last job was at a dive site in Leyte, and now he’s choosing between the Philippines and Australia. Mark attended the International School Makati, then went to college in the UK. “He was classmates with KC Concepcion,” Wolfie announced. “He was her boyfriend.”
“Haha,” said Mark.
“Ipagkakalat ko yan (I’m spreading the news),” I said.
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(Photo to follow. Please note that all of today’s photos were taken while subjects were tired and famished and do not do justice to their loveliness.)
Noel Flowers has been on the Volcanoes for years as a player, and in September he was manager of the team that played at the Shanghai 7s. “What happened there?” I asked him. “We didn’t get the combination of players we wanted,” he shrugged. He’s back as a player with the Volcanoes in Borneo.
“Was it hell growing up with the name Flowers?” I asked.
“Yes. And I grew up in Australia, which made it worse,” he laughed. “Now my kids are going to hate me. I have four children, and they’re called Rain Flowers, Sun Flowers. . .”
“You’re kidding, right?”
“Why don’t you just name them Kick Me?”
“I think that’s what I’ll call my fifth child, thanks.”
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You can’t improve on perfection, but I insist that this team needs proper traveling outfits and formal attire in addition to their playing gear. They don’t even have a team jacket! I see blazers, rep ties, the works. Fine, we’re in the tropics, they should be in linen. It’s a crime for such gorgeousness to walk around dressed like schlubs. Sure loose T-shirts and board shorts are comfortable, but they don’t say “We are serious about kicking your ass.” Couldn’t our designers do something?
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Until this afternoon, Harry Morris had never eaten hopia in his life. Is this not the saddest thing you’ve ever heard? Fifty percent Pinoy, and alien to hopia. Apparently they don’t have it in Wales.
At Clark Airport we had just enough time for a snack before boarding, so I bought hopia and green tea and sat at a table. Wolfie had just sat down when an old guy yelled, “You can’t bring food into the coffee shop you have to order something here!”
“We’re going to order something po,” Wolfie said. “Nagalit ang lolo ninyo,” he told the giggling waitresses. He bought me a tuna sandwich (BFFs na kami eh. Baket wala kang facebook?!).
I didn’t eat the hopiang munggo so I gave it to Harry. (When we were at the check-in counter he said, “I’m so hungry I’m eating myself.” Even his digestive system is funny.)
“What’s that?” he said.
“It’s Filipino food.”
“I love Filipino food,” he said. “What do you call this, it’s great!” There’s my good deed for the day.
“Why do you have British pounds in your wallet?” he asked. (BFFs na kami, inuusisa na ang laman ng wallet.)
“Cause I went to London in June.”
“I live in London, why didn’t you look me up.”
See, this is proof that he’s Pinoy. Only Pinoys would ask other Pinoys questions to which the answer is, “Because I didn’t know you?” Our previous post was wrong–Harry no longer works for the Environmental Agency in Wales, he’s moved to London where he works for a headhunting firm and plays semi-pro rugby.
“Will you do a live chat with your fans?”
“Sure,” he said.
“And we can do video.”
“After I’ve showered and shaved.”
“And straightened my hair,” Justin added. Justin has agreed to be one of our Jocks With Books. “Can I wear a G-string and read a law book?”
“You could just wear the book.”
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Wolfie is reading The One-Minute Manager.
“Why are you reading The One-Minute Manager?”
“Cause I want to be a One-Minute Manager.”
“If it’s called One-Minute Manager, how come it takes more than one minute to read?”
“Usually I read Mills and Boon, Sweet Valley High…”
The counter girl at the siopao and hopia stand yelled at him from practically the other end of the airport. “Alam ko kung sino ang girlfriend mo, si Quinn! Kayo na!” (I know who your girlfriend is, it’s Quinn, you’re a couple!) Wolfie got up and walked over to the counter girl so she wouldn’t have to yell. Inevitably phone cameras were produced.
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This exclusive coverage of the Philippine Volcanoes at the Borneo 7s is brought to you by Globe Telecom.