Sunday, May 9, 2010

Celebrity Sports Hoopla!

Playing sports and keeping active and fit is one of the best ways to enjoy the summertime as well as keep yourself busy (they say idleness is the devil’s plaything) – and for this week’s Mojo:lations, it’s a whole different ballgame as I was able to test my skills with some celebrity friends over the weekend. Trying my hand at various sports, it was a star-studded and sweaty but sweet summer experience.

Basketball Expedition

It’s been over a decade since I picked up a basketball, but I revived my game at the Quezon City Circle with the Coca-Cola Tigers and Expedition 206 Happiness Ambassadors. Together with international bloggers Tony Martin and Antonio Santiago, we joined basketball legend Kenneth Duremdes at an impromptu game of hoops with some urban youth. Amazingly, I was able to shoot and score quite well at the free-throw competition.

“Happiness Ambassador”

Antonio Santiago with basketball starKenneth Duremdes

We picked up a few pointers from the kids and professional ballers on how to improve our game before meeting up with sports star turned celebrity Enchong Dee for an inspiring speech on the importance of sports for Filipino youth. Aiming to discover fresh talents, the Coca-Cola Hoopla (a grassroots-based basketball tournament for players 18 years old and below) was just one of the stops for the Expedition 206 as they visited the Philippines to find out what makes pinoys happy.

Enchong Dee, Tony Martin & Mojo open happiness for Expedition 206

You can follow the Coca-Cola “Happiness Ambassadors” at as they spend the year trying to visit the 206 countries where Coca-Cola is sold with the mission of discovering the meaning of “Happiness” all around the globe! While in Manila, they came to the conclusion that food, family, friends, sports, and the spirit of optimism and hospitality are all part of the happy mix that Filipinos enjoy!

Stars all-out for Soccer

Chynna Ortaleza, Railey Valeroso & DJ Tony Toni
at the Castrol Soccer Fiesta

It was an adrenaline-pumping climax at Castrol’s final leg of their celebration in commemoration of the 2010 World Cup Finals which will be happening in Johannesburg, South Africa. After a star-studded string of events, celebrities and sports stars alike trooped out to Castrol’s various Soccer Fiestas to root on the competitors and hype up the spectators at hand.

For the past few weeks, Castrol has been travelling to various SM Malls encouraging soccer/football fanatics to try their hand at various skills challenges to compete for an all-expense paid trip to watch the 2010 World Cup finals match. After making a purchase of Castrol products, each competitor put their skills to the test. The objective is to finish the obstacle course at the fastest possible time. The challenges involved basic soccer skills such as dribbling, juggling, shooting, passing and shuttle running.

The competition has been staged in what is called the Castrol Arena in each participating SM mall. The Castrol Arena is a mini-futsal court supervised by the Futbol Sa Kalye (Futkal) non-profit group that promotes soccer in depressed areas in Metro Manila. The “Futkaleros” are headed by former La Salle player Peter Amores.

Celebrity players Daiana Meneses & Wesley Gonzales
dodge the heat with some Nestle Pops Ice Cream

SM North’s “The Block” was the venue for the competition awarding, and it was filled to the brim with spectators. There was a quick showbiz recap thanking the celebs that celebrities that had participated in the Soccer Fiesta 2010. Some personalities that showed their support for the sport were model/actress Daiana Meneses, sportscaster Lia Cruz, newsman TJ Manotoc, basketball star Wesley Gonzales, celebrity couple Chynna Ortaleza & Railey Valeroso, VJ/actress Denise Laurel, Magic 89.9’s Boys Night Out DJs, and more. Showing off his fancy moves and amazing soccer skills, international football freestyler star Philip Warren Gertsson was also at hand to add some high-energy excitement to the Soccer Fiesta program!

Castrol's Country Marketing Manager Paul Salapantan says, "Castrol has been so involved with motorsports that we just had to take a look back and see what we were missing out. Football is the world’s number one sport and its values are so in tune with Castrol that it just had to happen. There are so many groups or even sports that we could tap into. We’re not just into this World Cup in South Africa but even the next one in Brazil. It’s a worldwide commitment to the game."

PDBA’s Summer Games

“Diz Iz It” stars grace Lee and Sam YG have been spotted dodging, diving and playing the sport! While many have began taking up the game after the release of that 2004 cinematic classic Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, dodgeball in the country has up until now been the reserve of a small handful of in-the-know weekend players.

After the celebrity kick-off for the University Dodgeball Games, a joint project between the PDBA and Nestle Ice Cream that seeks to get more Filipino interested in the sport, more and more Filipinos have tried their hand at the game! Over the course of the University Dodgeball Games, the PDBA will be visiting some of the top schools in the country to conduct dodgeball trainer certification programs for PE teachers, free Dodgeball clinics for students, as well as actual competitive matches.

The efforts of the PDBA are starting to pay off big. This year, dodgeball is set to premiere as an official event in the Women's National Collegiate Athletic Association (WNCAA) calendar.

“We’ve been pushing for dodgeball to be included in the PE cuurricula of more schools for some time now,” says Camara. “Dodgeball is a great school sport because you don’t need any special training or expensive equipment to play, and games can be as light or competitive as you want it to be. I’m very happy with all that NestlĂ© has been doing to help bring this great sport to the rest of the country.”

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