Exactly a decade ago.

Somewhere out there.. is a 10 year old kid sitting on his empty coleman waiting for his sundo by gate 1. He’s probably as tall as me, reads pocketbooks, and is currently studying fractions. This kid was born the year I became a courtside reporter!!!! I’m old.

A few weeks back, Jinno Rufino ran a little survey on Twitter about Courtside Reporters and this started a whole wave of tweets back and forth about our “glory days”. I almost felt like a lola coming home from the States for her golden alumni homecoming! With special guests: The Cascades! Mwahahaha! πŸ™‚ Well according to him, I won the “poll”. So, now I can add “Best Courtside Reporter of All Time” to my list of many life achievements..ok the list is not very long, ok fine you got me..there is NO list. Ah basta! I’m the BEST! Of course, this is coming from my buddy Jinno who’s not exactly the most credible person..it could be complete ba-lo-ney, but baloney I will gladly eat!

For a recent magazine interview, I was forced to dig up old photos of my Uaap days. And I almost felt ashamed explaining to the editor why my photos had to be scanned. Are you ready?? We didn’t have digital cameras back then!!! WUHAAATTT?! Yep, We had wind up Instamatics with FILM.. F-I-L-M?!?! And no that’s not the same as M-I-L-F. Ayayayay. Walang display nung panahon namin..you had to wait for the whole roll to be developed a month later to check if you looked decent. We didn’t have photoshop either (well at least not for the regular folks like moi). So, Fat in Person meant Fat in Photo. Pimple in person, Pimple in Photo.You take a photo, finish all 36 shots, bring it to your local one hour developing station, and pray to God that you didn’t blink in that 1 photo where you were just inches away from your crush.. that’s what we did back in the day, kids. I’ve had so many “Ay kainis, nakapikit ako!” moments. If the buzz words for photos now are Flickr, Multiply, or “Tag Me”… our buzz words for pictures then were Glossy, With Border, and 5R. Hahaha! This explains why I only have 2 photos of my entire UAAP experience. Yes, just two photos to prove that this time in my life actually happened. The photo below was George’s gift to me..yes, pinapang-regalo ang peekchur noon, with dedication pa sa likod “Please keep this as a remembrance of our friendship”! Hahahaha! The flash wiped out our faces so we look like two white ladies haunting the Araneta Coliseum. And yes, flared pants were totally rockin’ before! Hahahaha! Flared?!?! Who says that now?! George still has her signature hairstyle til now, the hair part that made her famous!

George Rocha was my court side best friend. Ironically, we were pegged as “enemies”just because of the rivalry. She came from the green side and I came from Arneooow, so naturally people would pit us against each other on internet forums. George and I used to be victims of all these threads, there were rumors of us having cat fights when in real life we would just sit at the bleachers of an empty Araneta for hours, having our hilarious joke time sessions. Hay, don’t you just love these forums?! Random people bashing people they don’t even know, hating people they’ve never even met. I can’t imagine taking the time to actually create an account, signing up, and logging in daily just to be mean..to comment on someone’s appearance, love life, and character. Of course, now we have Facebook and Twitter to thank for all the negativity in the air. Even I catch myself tweeting rants here and there, I guess it’s a lesson for all of us to be more kind and considerate of others when we update our statuses. Happy vibes, kids, happiness is the way to go….LALALALALA!!!:)

George is now a wife to her cool hubby Gilson and a hands-on mom to adorable Ada. She’s now George Chu, sounds like a big shot tycoon who owns 10 skyscrapers in Taiwan noh? Hahaha πŸ™‚ All you Rocha fans can check out her cool blog! PLUS, she’s a kitchen goddess..she makes the most delicious macarons! I love her Empire Macarons, they’re perfect for wedding favors, afternoon tea parties (you know, sosyalan with your amigas) or even as gifts! πŸ™‚ I’m so proud of George, trust me, if you knew how topak we both were back in college..you’d be proud of us too! Dude, we turned out OKAY!Praise THE LORD! Hahahahaha!:) George and I love to joke around about how “laos” we’ll soon become and that someday we’ll have to explain to our kids how popular we once were…”Anak, sikat ako dati! Maraming may crush sa kin noh! I was always on Pinoy Exchange! Go call your Tita Patty, she can verify!”. Hahahaha! I have a feeling I’ll be receiving a phone call from little Ada soon. πŸ™‚

Prior to courtside reporting, I never had any formal hosting training. NOTHING. I wasn’t even a mowdel. Wala akong kaalam-alam sa pag-“project”. But I’m happy I started my media career in the UAAP. It was the best training ground. It was a battlefield. I had to learn how to squeeze into a huddle of sweaty 6 footers, chill with the waterboys and write my own reports. I would spend my lunch breaks studying the basketball lingo, different plays and stats. That’s why when opportunities to pursue modeling came, it seemed too good to be true! Alam niyo ba na when you’re a mowwwdel, they give you an actual seat!!! Wooow! Hindi ka na makikiupo sa gatorade cooler!:) So it’s no surprise to see that a lot of the country’s best TV hosts actually started as courtside reporters. They’re the hardest working talents out there!

Cesca Litton, now a famous showbiz reporter was once NCAA’s most loved reporter. Before she was interviewing all these top celebrities, she was reporting for the San Sebastian Stags. A week ago she posted this on her FB πŸ™‚ She even sent me this old school photo. Ang kyot ni Lola Cesca! hahaha πŸ™‚

An old photo of NCAA reporter Cesca with the San Sebastian Stags

Another poster girl for Sporty-Hotness, Reema Chanco, was a courtside reporter too. Reema and I joined the MTV VJ Hunt together and we instantly hit it off, well, because we were the only Tagalog speaking contestants in the whole competition. We had our little lifeboat of jologness in a sea of conyotics! Hahaha πŸ™‚ Now, you can see Reema on several tv shows and countless ads!

And of course, one of my dearest friends, Ria Tanjuatco-Trillo also started her career on the court. When I started, Ria was the superstar senior reporter and was dating player Luigi Trillo..they were the golden couple of Pinoy Basketball! Think Posh and Beckham! πŸ™‚ I used to be so shy around Ria but we eventually developed a close bond when we became carpool-mates while working together on the Breakfast show. Drop by her blog and check out her amusing posts πŸ™‚ Ria is now a hands-on mom to Rocio (this kid is possibly the spunkiest girl I know), Mikel and Raquel. You can also catch her regularly on ANC’s ShopTalk.

I’m no longer active in the basketball scene..but you’ll still see me in Upper A screaming like a mad man for the Blue Eagles from time to time. (I will always be a fan, hehe. Soon I’ll be one of those taray moms shouting profanities at the other team..hahaha, Oh dear Lord, I hope that day will never come!) Even if I’ve been pursuing a completely different career now and heading towards a whole new direction, I still credit my UAAP stint for the values I gained that are still very meaningful to me today. I was a working student all throughout college and it wasn’t easy..But I knew that the Lord had a plan for me and so I persevered…and thankfully, I survived! And because of this experience, I understood the value of hard work, time management, and of course I saw the honor in earning and saving my own money πŸ™‚ So hindi lang naman free pass to get into Araneta yung habol ko noon, may life lessons din pala! Hahaha!

10 Responses to Exactly a decade ago.

  1. OMG Patty! I remember, I used to record your reports in my kopong kopong mini recorder, jot it down then try to deliver them in front of the mirror kasi you’re my favorite courtside reporter EVVVVEEERRRRRRRRRR!! Nakakakilig reading your entry πŸ™‚ More power!

  2. Haha…speaking of photos given as gifts…you gave me one of those…and yes, complete with dedication! It said: Dear Valerie, Thanks for being a great friend. Hey! I can call you Valerie the great! (Can you remember? haha) I brought it to school coz Micah M. was asking to see it. George Rocha saw the photo too. The 3 of us used to go to a small close-knit school and she commented you were pretty and looked like one of our friends which I totally disagreed.(Hi Armida U. I know you read this blog too.) Come to think of it, had no idea you’re gonna be close friends after a few years… πŸ™‚

  3. Hello Patty! nakakamiss ka rin panoorin sa TV! Grade 5 lang ako when I first saw you on TV, as a courtside reporter. Nung 2nd yr high school ako, I always watch Breakfast sa Studio 23 before going to school. More power sa bago mong career and God bless! πŸ™‚

  4. truth be told, i think one of the main reasons why i wanted to be an arrrrneaaaan was you! πŸ™‚

    and on the note of your mtv days, i clearly remember the moment i was watching the awarding night and you got “powder – attacked” announcing you as the winner, i was literally jumping up and down at home! i was a fan girl then, still is and i reckon ’til forever! <3

  5. i so remember this!!! ahahaha… im a green fan but you’re the courtside reporter i adore!!! because you were like the jack of all trades!!!

    you became a morning show host, mowdel, now a preschool teacher and an adventurer(isnt that a career? hehehe)

    so love this memories!!

  6. This is off-topic but I got Empire Macarons as tokens for my wedding last January. The calamansi was my favorite! (I’m calamansi-deprived here in Sydney). It’s nice to read about the lady who made them. I only spoke with her on the phone. She was very accommodating. And the macarons were wonderful. πŸ™‚