Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Arena and the Coliseum

B-liscious: Where are you? What are you doing?
Me: Nothing much, I'm just here at home.
B-liscious: Let's watch the UAAP finals later.
Me: Sure. What time is it? Where is it?
B-liscous: 2pm at San Juan Arena. Go now, I'll meet you there.
Me: Ummm... okay... text me how to get there.


I was having my late lunch while watching Flushed Away on HBO when B-liscious called me up to invite (or rather, drag) me to watch the first game of the volleyball finals. Seeing as it was 1.30 when I received the call, I had to really rush to make it to wherever the venue was.


Me: I'm about to go now. How do I get there?
B-liscious: I don't know also. I'm taking a cab going there.


No choice. I guess I'm gonna have to cab it as well. I distrust taxi cabs and their drivers on principle, and would rather commute using public transport going anywhere than put my trust (and my hard-earned peso) upon the taxi cabs. Yes, I am prejudiced, but I have my horror stories to back me up. Still, going to uncharted territories without any hint of where the destination is is rather foolish and a clear waste of bravado. Time to swallow my pride and ride the cab.

Amazingly, I was able to hail a cab with only just a few minutes of waiting. Rather surprising, since cabs usually disappear whenever you need them, and are abundant in numbers when you don't. I got in the cab and told the driver my destination. Another surprise, since the driver didn't even ask where we should go to get to my destination. The driver knows his geography, I think to myself. Good. This places less pressure on me.

A little bit over 30 minutes, and we're in San Juan. He turns left to some street and I see a wall with San Juan Coliseum painted on it. It's past 3pm, I am late. But at least I'm already here. I pay the driver and alight his vehicle. I go straight to the entrance and at the same time, I'm taking out my phone to call B-liscious to tell my whereabouts.

But the noise from the Coliseum distracts me from my musings. There are cheering crowds, but the voice from the speaker system is rather odd, I think. It's in the vernacular, and somehow, his hosting skills does not really suit a volleyball game between two colleges. I look around, and to my horror, I realize that the cab driver dropped me off, not at the volleyball venue, but to a Cockpit Arena!

There it was, a newly painted building with centralized air-conditioning and ample parking space. The San Juan Coliseum. But this is not the kind of game I was expecting, far from it. Immediately, I give B-liscious a call. No answer. I call again, and again, and again. No answer! I am in uncharted territory, on a limited budget, and my contact seems to have vanished on me! I try another lifeline; a friend who lives near the area. No answer as well!

This is starting to feel like an episode from the Twilight Zone. I'm starting to get a little bit bitchy when B-liscious finally answered my call. At last, after innumerable attempts, my call has been answered!


B-liscious: Are you there already? I'm still having lunch.
Me: I'm at the San Juan Coliseum, and it's a Cockpit Arena!
B-liscious: WHAT? Wait, let me make some calls.
Me: Yes, please.


My tension abated, my head finally cleared, I did what I should have done in the first place, and ask the locals for direction. The guard told me that the venue I was looking for was The Arena, and that I can get there by riding a tricycle.

Having finally located the place, I fall in line to buy my ticket and managed to watch the third set of the men's finals. Partway through the 3rd set, B-liscious makes an appearance, and we scan the area for a place to watch the game, late as it is. It wasn't too bad though, considering there was still the women's finals to wait for.

It was a good game, though disappointing at times. A group of ball-crazed fan girls and boy did obscure the view for us, and I wanted to push them down the railings. Thankfully, B-liscious held me back, and I rather contented myself with my partial view of the game and the amusing cheer from the pep squad (GO LUH-SOHL!!!).

It was a good day, and barring the misadventure, it was fun.

By the way, UST won over UP 3-0 on the men's game, while FEU won over DLSU 3-2 in the women's division.

Photo credits for Dondi Nolasco, FEU vs La Salle, 15Feb09.


  1. hehehe. twilight zone indeed! :) at least you get to be in a sabungan.. first time? :) you should have tried yung mga kainan sa paligid. back in the province, they have lechon sa paligid-ligid ng arena. yun ang dinadayo ko pag nagsasabong si tatay and my uncle. :)

  2. @Gentle: Nope, not my first time in a cockpit arena. Just my first time in a 2-storey, fully air-conditioned cockpit. Sosyal na sosyal ang dating, mas magara pa sa sports complex ng ibang municipalities!

    I didn't get to see any food establishments selling lechon manok, though.

  3. you're sa La Sallite i assume? FEU and DLSU are my favorite teams of the season...

    i was able to watch this game live yesterday on studio 23. it was a very tight match.

    uhmm...i'm rooting for FEU. ahehehe!

    so, are you going to watch game 2 on wednesday?

    exclusive school for boys??? i can't imagine myself attending that kind of school. that's crazy. no girls around? hmmm...

    thanks, shards! (i don't know what to call u :P)

  4. @Lucas: Yeah, I guess I'm rooting for DLSU. Funny thing, 4 years of being a Lasallian and I never watched a single game of UAAP. Last Sunday was the first I ever watched. I don't think I'll be able to watch on Wednesday, I have work.

  5. your shopmates ended up flirting with her? what happened to you? hehehe!

    re arena: i am a fan of the UAAP games ever since. good thing studio 23 have them all covered. at least you we're able to watch'em live. ang daming tao sa arena. hanggang sa labas meron. ang haba ng pila.

    odie? what cute name! they don't grow tall right?

    you're welcome. peace out! :P

  6. and shatts it is. hehe!



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