When your nick is longer than your name

Ponkie, Pongky, Pongkee, Pongkie. It’s actually Ponky.

I noticed that my friends’ Christmas and New Year greetings sent through SMS included my nickname, “Ponky.” During this holiday season, I came across several versions of my name (which I found cute). Anyway, this instance has led me to make a quick research on the etymology of the epic “Ponky” nickname my dad gave me. The only thing I know is that he was one of my dad’s favorite local basketball players – Alejo “Ponky” Alolor.

Of course, the first thing I did was type his name on the search box of Facebook (and I found this very stalker-like). Voila! I found his account. Next stop, Wikipedia, and I found a list of Philippine Basketball Association players with his name and stats included in it. Alolor played for Mariwasa, Great Taste, Alaska, Pure Foods, 7Up and Ginebra. A few results came out when I searched for his name in Google and Flickr. A discussion board topic was even dedicated to him and many were interested in what has become of him after his PBA stint.

Dad isn’t disappointed when I didn’t become a basketball star. He himself isn’t that into the game and the craziest thing he did for PBA is to religiously watch the games on TV, but still, he managed to give his first born son a nickname of a basketball star (I wonder why he didn’t pick an NBA star.)

I have a lot of “Ponky” stories to tell. When I was in pre-school, I thought my middle initial (which is, incidentally, letter P) meant Ponky. In school (from grade school to college), I only use my real name and only a few of my friends know my nickname. Since only a few people know my nickname, it became a ‘term of endearment’ for those who are close to me.

Even though it’s one letter longer than my real name, I love it.

Basketball Awakenings

Coach CarterEnrolling once again – now as a sophomore in college – seemed to be quite normal, except for some of the thoughts I had lingering in my mind throughout the day. After paying the increased tuition fee in school, me and some of my former blockmates took a jeepney on the way to a mall near Manila City Hall only to find ourselves budgeting money for a whole bunch of Shakey’s meals. After that, we went straight to Cinema 7 to see Samuel L. Jackson playing ‘Coach Carter.’

If one would look back at how Basketball has affected my life, well, all you can strip off me is a couple of NBA cards when I was in gradeschool, getting into the MBA mania for Pampanga Dragons, and I really really love watching SLAM BALL! Now that I have grown from all of those… ehemmm, actually I haven’t! Did I say that I really really love SLAM BALL (again)? Okay, there’s nothing more exciting than watching a live game of passing, dribbling and shooting the ball with crowds going wild specially in college basketball *UAAP*.

In relation to the movie, I can describe it as a very talkish film. Luckily, I sat with somebody with a sense of humor identical to mine – that made me awake throughout the 2 1/2 hours of Coach Carter’s sermons. The movie wasn’t that bad. Beneath all the push-ups and Ashanti popping-up from nowhere, I definitely learned so much.

First of all, ‘education is very important,’ the movie emphasized. You cannot live with your ‘short shorts and matching tank tops’ forever playing ball. Another show recently had a debate topic regarding education: Y! Speak of ABS-CBN’s Studio 23. Do we really need a diploma? Well, you can’t eat the diploma, literally, but with the growing competition in our globalized world, how can you survive? A good education and mastery of skills are important not only for getting the job you want, but because you want a strong foundation that shall embody you throughout your lifetime. School is there for your development mentally, emotionally, socially, physically, etc… it’s just wholistic!

I can’t wait to grab that diploma. It’s amazing to realize that I already finished one step of my college academic world. Many more terminologies to memorize, numbers to solve and values to instill are about to attack like a tsunami waiting to drown me to death when schooldays arrive. I cannot think of any other way of owning one of those Bvlgari watches without finishing my studies.