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.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Bleachers' Brew #299 The drive of Coco Jabines

This appears in the Monday, February 20, 2012 edition of the Business Mirror.

The drive of Coco Jabines
by rick olivares

Francisco Paolo “Coco” Jabines plays point guard for Pilgrim Christian College in Cagayan de Oro City. He’s seen some other Green Voyagers go up to the big leagues like John Paul Erram and Paul Siarot who both now suit up for the Ateneo Blue Eagles in the UAAP. Like every other basketball loving kid in the country, he hopes to play in the Philippine Basketball Association one day. “It has been my dream since childhood to play in PBA someday or play in one of the most prestigious universities in Manila. If given a chance, I would opt to play in Ateneo de Manila University, a school I look up to as one of the best teams in UAAP,” said Jabines.

For now, Coco hopes that through the National Basketball Training Center, he will be discovered and given a chance. More so with the first ever Seaoil High School All-Star Game that will be shown on AKTV coming up in early March of 2012.

For Coco, the opportunity is golden. It’s an opportunity to better life for him and his family that was hard hit by Typhoon Sendong like many fellow Mindanaoans.

At the time was waters came roaring down, Coco’s mother, Nenita, woke him up from his sleep. “Coco, mata na ang tubig naa na (Coco, wake up because the waters are entering our home)!” she yelled in panic. The young lad’s senses immediately snapped to attention and he carried his five-year old sister, Dayday, and braved the fast rising waters for safety in a neighbor’s home on higher ground. “At that very moment, I felt so hopeless dahil lahat ng pinaghirapan ng aking mga magulang ay nawala at nasira sa isang sandali. Naawa ako sa aking mga nakababatang kapatid at sa aking ina. They were traumatized because of what had happened. Pilit kung kinakalimutan ang mapait kong karanasan sa pamamagitan ng paglalaro. Sa ganitong paraan ay unti-unti akong nakakapag move on. Kahit wala akong gamit dahil ito ay natangay ng baha, hindi nito kasamang tinangay ang aking mga pangarap. I took the challenge to play for the PCC Voyagers team to represent our school.

He knows that opportunities are hard to come by and one can never know when they will be given again. Numer Perez was a NBTC teammate from CDO. He still would be except that he was not seen since the floodwaters brought about by Sendong came cascading down from the mountains.

Jabines oft thinks of Perez and how life can seem so flimsy. Here today. Gone tomorrow. Just like dreams.

So Jabines dreams on.

“I’ve learned to focus more,” says the Green Voyager’s floor general.

In the NBTC, Jabines’ favorite drill is “the Commando drill” that is designed to develop dribbling skills and to intensify a player and a team’s defensive play. “Ang maganda about NBTC ay ‘yong mapakita mo ang talent at skills mo in the hard court at magkaroon ng mga kaibigan mula sa iba’t-ibang eskwelahan mapa private man o public dito sa Cagayan de Oro. Nagpapasalamat ako sa mga coaches at sa mga staff at committee ng National Basketball Training Center. Kundi dahil sa kanila, there will be no NBTC that would develop elite players.”

“To earn a living out of playing basketball has never been my intention,” summed up Coco. “I just want to continue what I have started.  I would just continue to improve my skills and wait for the perfect timing and perfect opportunity for my skills to be seen.”


  1. Nice!Keep it up Co!--Imo ni gagaw c Kevin!Kato gwapo!

  2. go coco go coco go coco.... i'm proud of you kid ... (Mangsoy)

  3. You deserve such achievement! Be the best that you can always.


  4. Im so proud of you. :) Iloveyou -Keith