Monday, February 08, 2010
Don't look now, but I just heard about the possible re-opening of jai-alai games in the country. In addition, some influential persons are silently pushing for opening a track for dog races right here.
By way of pointing out how decent and honest the jai-alai was before Pinoys took over management of the fronton, among the amateur pelotaris training to play with Basque players were Enriquito Zobel, Neling and Rene Nieto, Danny Vasquez, Ossy Abad Santos, Baby Ysmael, Juancho Lao, Tony Vallejo, Poteng Tillman, Philip Monserrat, Pat Ilano, Tony Beltran and my very own father Ariel Bocobo.
But they soon lost interest and gave up the games when they sensed that certain crooked manipulators were slowly taking over the fronton and the decent and honest Basque players were quietly being eased out. They were proven right and soon enough the fronton became a hotbed of vice and corruption, and Pinoy pelotaris became notorious for throwing games and the good elements of society began to boycott the fronton.
One needed clarification. Jai-alai is not a Spanish game. It is a game of the proud Basques who continue to be the hated enemies of the Spaniards. Those occasional bombings in Spain are by the Euskadi, the Basque rebel group feared by the Spanish guardia civil.
In Madrid hotels not too long ago, there were still signs which read, "No dogs or Basques allowed." That's how bitter these two races hate each other.
(Image from http://estancabigas.com/)