Sunday, March 02, 2014

Fair Play: A girlie bar, sports bar and watching PH vs. Malaysia online

IS THAT a girlie bar with a "Welcome PAL interclub golfers" sign?"

Our fotog, Ruel, asked me during our failed search for a sports bar in Bacolod City during the last night of our PAL Interclub coverage.

It wasn't a girlie bar, let me straighten that out, but it was just one of the many places in Bacolod City that posted welcome signs for the participants of the PAL Interclub, signs that show a tournament of this magnitude are very much welcome to the city's tourism industry.  

With over 2,000 golfers, managers and support staff who have a lot of money to spend, all players of the tourism industry were very busy the past two weeks.  Including, even, those who, "ahem" work at the fringes.

While staying at the lobby of the hotel we were billeted at, I couldn't help but notice that there were a few ladies of the rather sexy kind frequenting the place.

And, thanks to the a childhood spent in the multi-lingual town of Polomolok, I understood their exchanges in Ilonggo that one time I rode with them in the elevator.  One was telling the other, "Just shut up when the phone rings."

Those who operate vans for hire, too, were on double overtime, as each golf club rented one for the whole duration of the tournament.  And of course, there's the restaurants and pasalubong centers who made a killing in those days the two-week tournament was staged in the City of Smiles.  

Not bad.

Tournaments like the PAL Interclub really do great wonders for the local tourism industry and it's great that Cebu is now part of the hosting loop after holding the event for the first time since 2001 last year.

And Bacolod has really embraced sports tourism and is aggressively going after events that attract a large field.  After the PAL Interclub, Mayor Monico Puentevella said that he will bid for the Philippine National Games and the Palarong Pambansa next year, events that attract almost 10,000 participants.

There's also the Asean All-Stars vs. Azkals match in April, which, according to Puentevella has already been postponed twice.  He said he's hoping to get the date finalized as early as possible so fans who want  to travel can book their hotels and flights early.

Speaking of the Azkals, it was because of their game against Malaysia last Saturday night that led me and my photog to scour for a place to watch the game.

So, on board a crazy taxi driver who had no regard whatsover for road courtesy or safety of other drivers, much less, the colors of the traffic light, that we first found ourself to Pipeline, then to Dugout.

We left after five minutes.  Not only did the staff there not know there was going to be a live football match between the Philippines and Malaysia, they couldn't even give a straight answer when I asked if they'd transfer their channel to ABS CBN sports, which was going to air the match.

Jeez, I really thought it was a sports bar.

It turned out leaving was the best move as ABS CBN failed to air the match live on time.

So I ended up watching the match over the internet at the PAL interclub media lounge.

How did the match go? Well, let's just say that if the goal post could talk, he should be a guest in a sports talk show in Philippine TV.

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