the day i met kobe bryant.
i never would've thought in my wildest dreams that i would get to meet THE kobe bryant. but I DID. dreams do come true!!!!
a few weeks ago i got a call from the all-around awesome mae dichupa of nike philippines, asking me if i could host a big event for them, with a really big star coming in. i didn't know big meant as big as kobe.
growing up, i watched sports with my brother. in football, i loved ronaldo. (the original ronaldo, not cristiano, haha!) in golf, i loved tiger woods. and in basketball, i loved michael jordan (who doesn't?!) and kobe bryant. i even etched kobe's name in my dresser back in high school. his name still there.
take every advantage. that was the title of kobe's manila tour. i intended to take every advantage and i did.
studying my script, there were all these words about inspiration, going for your dreams, but the line that i couldn't get over was a line that read:
hi. kobe. hi kobe! how does one even say that casually without sounding like too much of a fan?! how do you even put those two words together, in front of kobe bryant in the flesh?!
the result? these priceless expressions on my face..
photo by rem zamora.
photo by sandro paredes.
you know how in the movies, when the two lead stars share a moment, they do it in slow motion? at this exact moment i discovered, slow motion happens in real life. it does! hahahahaha! the hug was probably only a second, but in my head, it felt like five seconds! i'm not kidding! how surreal right??!!
my super cool sports genius of a co-host for the event boom gonzalez and i actually met kobe right before the program in his dressing room. it was a quick meeting to brief everyone, and for everyone's information, photos nor autographs were not allowed. staff, crew, anyone, not allowed. security was tight, and rightfully so.
since photos weren't allowed, i must thank all the wonderful twitter friends and official photographers who were at the araneta coliseum that day for all the photos i have from this epic day. from the bottom of my heart, thank you!!!!
photo by senth.
after the interview with kobe and just as the uaap all-stars vs smart gilas pilipinas exhibition game began, we got the chance to sit beside kobe for a bit. sit. beside. kobe. sit beside kobe!!!! gaaah. i was sooo nervous! i didn't know if i was allowed to talk to him, or if i can play it cool and chat him up a bit, i didn't know! until he taps my knee and goes, "so you're on twitter, huh?" waaaah! kobe bryant talked to me! out of the script or program, he talked to me! God is sooo good! hahaha!
photo by denise mallabo.
we talked a bit about twitter, and i told him how it was big here in the philippines and that countless fans are hoping he'd sign up. he also was asking a few questions about the collegiate and professional players on the court. i could not believe it. in my head i felt.. wow, tao lang din si kobe bryant! i can't believe it. i still cannot believe it!
when kobe says manila is one of his favorite cities in the world, its easy to dismiss that as something he says in every city he visits. but this guy is different. he really means it. he really loves manila.
we were told that out of all the cities he's visited, this is the only time he actually insisted to play in the exhibition game. i swear to you, it was not on the script, it was not planned, he was just supposed to join the coaches to assess the ten minute match, then show a few skills. but after the game, maybe it was the love the big dome was showing him, or maybe he really just loves the philippines, kobe stands up, puts on a jersey, and puts on a show.
the energy in araneta coliseum that day WAS INSANE. all for kobe, and all because of kobe.
photo by sheehan ehren reyes.
thank you nike philippines!!!!
I LOVE NIKE!!!!