Monday, November 15, 2010

The Philippines: Yamaha GP One Make Race

I accompanied Sheila to her job once again. This time, however, I wore shoes instead of my sandals, and made sure to register at the front desk in order to avoid any altercations with the security officers. I accompanied Sheila to her job because we were going to leave straight from her work to attend another motorbike race that her brother, Mark, was organizing.

As I’d mentioned in my previous blog, entitled “Sonicboom Motorsports: Motorbike Racing in Manila,” Mark organizes motorbike races for a living – and is darn good at it, too. So good, in fact, that Yamaha, the multinational company known for its motorbikes, hired Mark to organize the company’s first ever motorbike tournament in the Philippines. The winners from tonight’s race in Manila will be sent to Malaysia to represent Yamaha and to compete against other winners in the region.

Initially, the race was supposed to be held a month earlier; however, due to the tragic hostage incident that occurred in Manila on 23 August 2010, it was postponed. The bus hostage incident took place in front of Quirnino Grandstand, across the street from Rizal Park, where the Yamaha motorbike race was going to take place. So out of respect for the 8 lives that were lost, Yamaha rescheduled the race.

Instead of sitting in the lobby for 8 hours straight, I decided to walk to the local mall after lunch and watch a movie. Conveniently, there’s a skywalk connected from Sheila’s work to the mall. What’s great about the skywalk is that one doesn’t ever have to cross the street, and is protected from the rain due to the overhead awning.

When I approached the movie counter to purchase a ticket, I had no clue as to what movie to see. I wasn’t familiar with any of the titles that were presented on the screen. I walked back outside and looked at the movie poster display. It appeared that my best bet was RED, an action movie starring Bruce Willis and a number of other of big name actors. It was a silly, action-comedy with a hilarious performance by John Malkovich.

After Sheila got off of work, she informed me that my friend, Joey, who I’d met back in May while traveling in northern Luzon, wouldn’t be able to join us at the motorbike race. As disappointing as it was to hear that he couldn’t join us, I’m sure we’ll meet up sometime soon as I’ll be in the Philippines for a few more months.

We arrived at the Yamaha GP One Make Race Finals and had difficulty finding a place to park. The location of the venue was in an extremely busy area in Manila, and it took us awhile before we found an empty space. The streets were bustling, and excitement ensued as we began walking to the race track.

Sheila and I may not have used her brother’s name to find a parking spot, but we sure used it for the V.I.P. all access pass.

Shortly after we arrived at the track, Mark, with his megaphone in hand, stepped onto the track and got the race started.

Congratulations, Mark, for putting on another successful race. Best of luck in all your future endeavors. Do work!

“. . . If you didn’t know, and thought Mark was new on the scene
Well, it’s alright, it’s alright

SonicBOOM! Here comes the SonicBOOM!
Ready or not, here comes the boys from the South
SonicBOOM! Here comes the SonicBOOM!
Ready or not, how you like ‘em now? . . .''


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