Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

You've been dated! A sneak peek inside in the 2009 Ateneo Sports Calendar

This represents a labor of love. And I had a great bunch of buddies to work with on this. Take a bow, team -- Migs De Leon, Aly Yap, Scott Kho, CK Chua, Hub Pacheco, Erwin Cabbab, and Den Llanos Dee.

In a totally unrelated thing, I spent the night listening to three albums by reggae band Big Mountain: Resistance, Unity, and Wake Up. Kinda weird ain't it? Then I broke out Bob Marley's Exodus and Broken Social Scene's You Forgot It In People.


Missing here are the Blue Babble Battalion, the Women's Rowing Team, and the Men's Baseball Team (we have a shot with six players). For the Women's Volleyball Team, Averil Paje was present at the first shoot but when we were asked to re-shoot, she wasn't free anymore. For Men's Football, Alvin Perez and Gino Tongson couldn't make it. Itunu Kuku was supposed to be a part of the track and field team shoot but the line-up given was for the players competing in the Asian University Games so I figured I'd use "K" for the cover instead. Chris Tiu with his busy sked was only good for the cover as well. Thanks, Chris. I still have your Tiuperman shirts by the way.

Gel Chan of the Women's Football Team asked why we were not able to include other teams and the answer is simple, we didn't have enough time.

The Story Behind the Calendar
The idea for the calendar was something I brought home with me from the US. I bought a calendar of the Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders (Aja is one of the prettiest girls you will ever see on God's green earth) and I wondered about doing something similar for Ateneo. But I already knew that under no circumstances were we to show any skin. Bwahahahaha. Damn!

I proposed it to several departments including the University Athletics Office several years ago but it fell on deaf ears. Last year, I wanted it to really happen as I wanted to get Ford Arao, Pat Ozaeta and Charo Soriano in their final year only it didn't materialize. Sorry talaga.

Fortunately this time around Ricky Palou (who is one of the easiest people to work with) and Em Fernandez gave us the green light to get the job done. Lesson here: work with people who aren't going to give you grief.

When Nono Felipe and Philip Sison asked me to join Fabilioh around September of this year, I waited until I was in before I pitched it to the team. I had several discussions about it with Philip including one in front of the Blue Eagle Gym where we talked for more than an hour and at night to boot! We knew we had a winner here.

It was after the basketball season when Scott Kho called me to get the whole thing going and we roughly had two weeks to plan and prepare for the shoots that got extended as we tried to experiment. We had many a cup of frapuccinos at Starbucks in Promenade in Greenhills and pizza at Shakey's Katipunan in doing so.

We had to delay the shoot by a couple of days just to get all the teams and athletes we wanted.

There were three layouts we shot: the game face look, the artsy shot, and the kalog shot. The first two concepts would be given their own calendars while the kalog shots were supposed to be used for promotion.

But funny how things change. As you can see, the badminton shot was inspired by the game "Rock Star." That was an improv shot by Aly Yap. In one of our meetings in Starbucks, we all fell in love with the shot and decided to use it.

Aly Yap has been a tremendous supporter and a huge help in various matters over the last two years and his enthusiasm in getting this off the ground should not be overlooked. Thanks, sobra!

With regards to the covers, I initially penciled in Chris Tiu, Kara Acevedo, Alvin Perez, Toni Rivero, Tata Garcia, Alex Tolome, Mike Mendoza, Nikki Santiago, AJ Pareja, and Raf Santiago. But scheduling problems and unavailability made it impossible to get the entire cast together. So we later mixed in different people including Itunu Kuku and Bea Pascual.

The great thing about working on this is the friendships we made with many of the teams. And they were really fun shoots. Like Mariana Lopa kept everyone in stitches. Getting a nice serious shot of the Women's Basketball Team was almost impossible! Hahahaha. So the shot you see is one of the few serious ones.

What many people don't know is that I am actually close to the volleyball, baseball, and football teams. So whether I am biased for them that is altogether another matter. Sue me.

But since the shoots, we've discussed how we can help the other squads as well. Mick Perez of the track team is particularly a strong supporter and we really look forward to doing more stuff with his teams.

There's the fencing team coached by my old classmate and former Olympian Wawit Torres. Badminton is coached by Kennie Asuncion who I worked with in the Lead Institute of Sport where I (and former Blue Eagle Franco Sevilla) did a billboard of her and the football team's Pat Ozaeta along EDSA. The swim team has been very cooperative and wait until you see the posters we've got for this team that I'm doing with photog TJ Parpan.

Well, the calendar is something we will be doing for the next four years. We begin planning after Holy Week and some of the shoots will begin as early as the first semester and the calendar will be out by late November 2009. Soon after my birthday! Hahahaha!

But we truly hope that you like the project and support it by purchasing one. I know it's kinda late but it's not only a way cool keepsake but it will go to an athletic scholarship.

Thanks and One Big Fight!














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