Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Corregidor basketball league

It’s still rainy season, and Steve has not conducted any tours since we returned, so there’s not much news to report. The book is in the editing process, with files going back and forth between us and the editorial staff.

We had a bit of excitement a few nights ago. Bear in mind that we have never heard of any spiders on Corregidor that are especially dangerous to humans, but this is the tropics and you can expect to run across the occasional spider. We were lying in bed, Marcia reading and Steve watching a video on his laptop, when Marcia spotted a rather large spider on the other side of the bedroom just below the ceiling. Marcia reached across to her bedside table for the flyswatter, which was, quite frankly, narrower than the spider’s leg-span. This guy could have straddled a deck of playing cards.

Being that the spider was high up on the wall, Marcia told Steve the kill was his job – ah, the benefits of height. Steve was standing at an angle off to one side when he took a mighty swing. Wham! This guy was too large to get smashed into the wall, so guess what happened? That’s right, it behaved according to Newton’s “equal and opposite reaction.” The spider came flying back off the wall and landed right at Steve’s feet! We both jumped toward the bedroom doorway to make sure that the spider would not hop up looking for revenge. When we saw that it was balled up and not moving much, Steve went over and smacked it a couple times for good measure.

We wonder how a spider that size could have gotten into our house. Marcia also wondered if “spider guts” is part of the recipe for Rugby Contact Cement, because the clean-up the next morning took some real “elbow grease.” We’ve included a photo of the same type of spider, one that we saw outdoors – where they belong, in our way of thinking. It was not as large as the one in the bedroom, but still plenty big.

As we wrote in late 2008, shortly after we moved here, the annual Corregidor basketball tournament was held. We used the tournament as an opportunity to get to know a number of the players, mostly men employed on the island. It was a good competition with an exciting final round and an underdog winner.

It has been our aim ever since to get the tournament started again, and to be honest, the men on the island have been hoping that we would sponsor another tournament. Since the last tournament a number of the players have had to be laid off due to a poor economy. Last Christmas we decided that we’ve waited long enough and took the leap of faith that the money would be there when we needed it.

Knowing that some of you are willing to support us, we have begun to organize the new league. Steve has been named Commissioner. Previously the teams were divided by work groups; hotel staff, security staff, etc. This time we will appoint four captains who will pick their players by draft, in hopes of creating four roughly even-strength teams. Instead of the teams being named for their work groups they will be named for four of the points of interest on the island, such as Battery Way, Topside Barracks, Corregidor Inn, or Malinta Tunnel.

Each player will receive a uniform consisting of matching shirt and shorts. We have found a business that can supply them for a mere p650/$15.25 per set, quite reasonable considering that the shirts will have names and numbers. Each player will be expected to contribute p200/$4.70. Be aware that this is about two-thirds of a day’s pay here, not an insignificant amount to these men. We expect that there will be about 24 games in total, and each one will require two referees paid p200/$4.70 per game. Adding in incidentals such as a basketball or two, nets, etc, it’s easy to see how it will take about 50,000 pesos (around $1200 American) for the tournament to take place, of which the players’ contributions will cover about 20 percent.

We cannot tell you how excited many of the men are to have another basketball tournament, and we are pleased to be able to help them make this happen. We have already received one generous donation that will cover about one-fourth of the costs, and another to cover the cost of one basketball. Some of you expressed an interest to help when we broached the subject before, and we are hoping that you will come through. It will take place in any case, but we are looking for anyone interested in furthering the tournament to step up and offer to help. We would be happy to name a team for your favorite Corregidor landmark for a significant contribution. However, no contribution is too small. If you are able to help with a non-tax-deductable gift please let us know soon and we will tell you how. We will make a full accounting to any contributor who asks, and should we exceed expenses we will bank the money for a future tournament.

We’ve included a few photos of the 2008 basketball tournament for your inspiration and amusement.

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