25 Dec2013


The night before our final trip to distribute aid in Northern Cebu, we did our final computations and realized we had roughly PHP20,000 more pesos to “spend”. Instead of buying more rice or canned goods, we had a late afternoon, slightly harebrained idea to bring sports equipment to the baranggays we were visiting the next day. The rationale was that we wanted to distract the kids, to get them out on the courts, to do something physical. So we hit a local close-out warehouse, and ended up purchasing 20 regulation-sized basketballs, 40 mini-basketballs, 4 hoops/nets, 40 badminton racquets and 60 shuttlecocks, and a couple of soccer balls. After we had distributed the food packs and the children’s loot bags, the slippers, clothes, underwear and blankets, we took out a sack of balls and started shooting some hoops…


The adults and kids quickly gathered back around the basketball court and it was “game on”… Older kids and young adults were asked to line up at one end of the court, and they got one shot from the free-throw line — if they made the shot, they won the basketball, if not, they returned to the end of the line and tried again. The spectators started to gather, the encouragement and the jeering was growing and the fun was truly beginning. To get people in the mood, our Santa took a few shots (he missed)…


…while our diminutive in-house songwriter and singer (with current top hit playing in the Visayas) proved her mettle by sinking her first shot to the cheers of the growing crowd.


I stepped in to make it more challenging by blocking folks… though I have to admit I left a lot of room for the kids to take their shots…


…but the Teen has a really competitive streak…


…and at her height, she was at par if not taller than most men attempting to win their basketball.


Notice her shadow in the photo above, doesn’t it look like a Nike ad or logo? :)


Even senior citizens had a go and The Teen didn’t let up on defense… but we all cheered when this man WON a basketball! But the most amusing comment of the day was overheard by one of our crew… When the Teen got tired from all the jumping, I took her place for a few minutes, and one of the guys on the line said, in Cebuano “asa tung tomboy na gwapa, daku’g lawas man ani…” which loosely translated is “so where’s the tomboyish pretty girl, this guy is tall and chunky”… If I weren’t on an “aid mission” I would have taken offense at that — hahahaha. And the Teen raised her eyebrows at the “tomboy” reference… :)


The other end of the basketball court was for the younger kids vying to win a mini-basketball. They were having a bit of a challenge from the free-throw line so we moved them closer to the basket. Within say 15-20 minutes, we had away the basketballs set aside for each of the two barangays… and asked winners to make sure the balls would be shared and that pick-up games would take place in the days and weeks ahead. Folks continued to play even after we left, despite it being high noon in the first barangay we visited.


I realize this is the most frivolous aspect of our trip up North, but it was the most enjoyable. Each time a kid smiled, laughed or cheered I knew that if only for a moment, we had distracted them. There was a palpable lightness in the air, a real fiesta feel. And adults and kids were both in a cheery mood.


This will be the first and only photo you will ever see of me messing around with a soccer ball. I haven’t played soccer in nearly 40 years! But surprisingly, a LOT of kids also joined in and the soccer balls were also a big hit.


It was a tad chaotic, but shooting basketballs while others are kicking a soccer ball and still others were playing badminton on the same court was a scene from a cartoon or funny movie. Yes there was amusement. But there was also hope in the air, a feeling that things were on the mend, homes were starting to get repaired, some farm crops salvaged, debris cleared and trees starting to grow new leaves, funds for some repairs were being sent home by relatives abroad, jobs starting to return to their areas… yes, the storm was bad. But the Filipino spirit is better and shall overcome even the most trying of challenges.


After the soccer balls, out came the badminton sets, another huge hit. Several pairs of girls and boys had a go and we left them with ten pairs of rackets per baranggay and 30 shuttlecocks. But I have a a final smile-inducing story related to the badminton rackets… which links back to the Binch Body briefs in the first post of this two-post series. At the second barangay we visited, when I took out the badminton rackets, I literally got swarmed by some 40-50 kids who all wanted to grab the rackets for themselves. It started out okay, I am 6 feet tall after all, so I could hold the rackets up in the air out of their reach. But fun turned a bit desperate, and the crowd turned a bit unruly, and I have scratches to show for it, but worse, in the middle of the commotion, I could feel my shorts around my knees, and realized they were all pulling and tugging around me and I was being inadvertently disrobed! I was a bit worried about my cell phone and wallet in my shorts pockets so I had to throw the rackets away and quickly reach down to grab my shorts while the kids scampered away. Some of our crew saw this and burst out laughing… at least I didn’t have my colorful Christmas themed boxer shorts on yet… but perhaps, just perhaps, it would have been safer if I had been wearing some Binch Body briefs instead! :)


This last trip up North ends our relief efforts in Northern Cebu. We have spent all of the donated funds and will be posting a more detailed account of how they were used in the weeks ahead. I will also post about trips to other parts of the North, and a distribution in Culion, Palawan — I didn’t get around to writing all of them in chronological order during the mad rush of the holidays. We wish to THANK YOU ALL PROFUSELY and to relay the incredible gratitude of the people of Northern Cebu to everyone who sent cash donations, gifts in kind, volunteered your time or said a prayer or two. From our home to yours, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

Marketman, Mrs. Marketman & The Teen



  1. ami says:

    LOL! Laughing so hard at the racket story. Wear a belt next time MM.

    So if you’re 6′ then Teen must be 5’6″ or 5’7″. Definitely taller than an average pinay or even pinoy.

    I read an article from one of the foreigner volunteers in Leyte that within weeks of the typhoon he saw basketball rings/boards already being constructed using the wood in the debris. I guess basketball is part of our DNA as pinoys and even if we don’t have a roof over our heads and we’re unsure of where we’ll get our next meal we use our resourcefulness to find a way to shoot hoops.Hope the sports equipment you brought help them cope with the trauma brought about by their ordeal.

    Dec 25, 2013 | 5:52 pm


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  3. besYS says:

    Merry Christmas Marketman and family!!
    the Teen looks like you, MM! She’s so charming and pretty!
    Hi Mrs. MM! :-)

    Dec 25, 2013 | 6:07 pm

  4. lee says:

    Merry Christmas Marketman, Mrs. MM, Teen, and the crew.

    Dec 25, 2013 | 10:14 pm

  5. millet says:

    cheers, cheers, cheers all around!

    Dec 25, 2013 | 10:27 pm

  6. Esquiew says:

    What a heartwarming read on Christmas Day. Merry Christmas MM, Mrs. MM and Teen!

    Dec 25, 2013 | 10:33 pm

  7. Karina says:

    Love The Teen’s socks! ;) Merry Christmas MM and family!

    Dec 25, 2013 | 10:35 pm

  8. Irene says:

    Merry Christmas to you and your family, MM!

    Dec 25, 2013 | 10:39 pm

  9. natie says:

    I so LOVE love that family picture! The pro action shots of the Teen could indeed be submitted to Athletic apparel companies for their billboard and magazine ads. She has a well-toned physique.

    Get lots of rest, and have a blessed New Year!

    Dec 26, 2013 | 12:41 am

  10. Thel from Florida says:

    My Idols, MM, family, and employees. ALL AMAZING PEOPLE! God Bless always!

    Dec 26, 2013 | 1:40 am

  11. Gej says:

    The sports equipment was such a brilliant idea! Merry Christmas to the Market Manila community!

    Dec 26, 2013 | 1:46 am

  12. Betchay says:

    Merry Christmas MM, Mrs. MM , the Teen and the Crew! Donating is so easy but what you did— buying, packing, coordinating and distributing— is the real sacrifice! God bless you all!

    Glad that you thought of sports to be part of the Xmas relief goods! It indeed elicited the best smiles of the day! It signifies hope, a return to normalcy. And as always,you never run out of humor…Binch Body briefs…Ha!ha!ha,

    With the Teen’s height, toned body and be-dimpled smile, she could run off with any of the Bb.Pilipinas/other beauty tilts titles! Maybe she is the one we’re all waiting for that elusive, much awaited 3rd Ms.Universe title! The question is, will you allow her to join if ever? :) She got the best features from both of you and Mrs. MM! Congratulations for raising a well-grounded kid!

    Dec 26, 2013 | 2:01 am

  13. JSmith says:

    Merry Christmas, too, MM and family and staff! I so love reading your posts.

    Dec 26, 2013 | 4:35 am

  14. ricky gonzalez says:

    MM “God” send talaga kayo at iyong pamilya. More power and the best of 2014.

    Dec 26, 2013 | 8:07 am

  15. Meg Mationg says:

    Merry Christmas everyone!

    Dec 26, 2013 | 9:52 am

  16. Khew says:

    The racket incident – good ad idea for Binch Body briefs!

    Dec 26, 2013 | 10:05 am

  17. Netoy says:

    This, your statement sums it all: Yes, the storm was bad. But the Filipino spirit is better and shall overcome even the most trying of challenges.

    Kudos, MM, kudos!!!

    Dec 26, 2013 | 12:35 pm

  18. jay p says:

    great work as always marketman.

    hmm i think you need to go back and drop off a pump per baranggay in a month or so. :D

    Dec 26, 2013 | 3:15 pm

  19. linda says:

    If there were more people like you MM, Mrs.MM and the Teen, this world would be a better place.

    Dec 26, 2013 | 7:36 pm

  20. marilen says:

    Thank you, MM – you and Mrs. MM and the Teen have been those most marvelous, loving and giving folks on the journey. Thank you for all your good work. Blessings in the coming year.

    Dec 27, 2013 | 1:49 am

  21. mitzuy says:

    Our deepest gratitude to you, Mrs. MM, the teen and your whole crew for your help. I’m proud to be a part (though, miniscule) of your endeavor and I hope you will always be there for our kababayans. Maayong Pasko ug Bulahang Bag-ong Tuig Kaninyong Tanan.

    Dec 27, 2013 | 2:34 am

  22. chinachix says:

    What a lovely family Christmas photo. Looks like you and your team made Christmas merrier for young and old alike post-Haiyan. The Binch photo is a hoot. Cheers!

    Dec 27, 2013 | 5:13 am

  23. mini says:

    I love the family photo. Happy holidays, Sir!

    Dec 27, 2013 | 4:30 pm

  24. jaz says:

    You’re admirable MM! That is why you and your family are continuously blessed. Your crew are also commendable for all the support. May your tribes increase!

    Dec 27, 2013 | 10:37 pm

  25. Marketman says:

    jaz, oh I don’t know, we have our ups and downs just like everybody else… but that doesn’t stop us from trying to do the right thing or to help whenever possible… it’s probably good karma, but there’s bad karma that zings out of nowhere as well… if you know what I mean… :)

    Dec 28, 2013 | 6:12 pm


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