when I finally met the six-time world champion Paeng Nepomuceno!

I am no Professional Bowler, far from it actually. I am just your typical noob who uses an eight-sometimes-nine houseball. I am your regular who is acquainted to the gutter and calls it normal. I am someone who accidentally came across the sport and voila! felt a connection with.

It all began in college, because I am your typical nerdy nerdy growing up who dodged sports simply because I am not sporty and I’m scared of the ball hitting me or maybe because I am just so awkward.

Physical Education subject in college is far  more serious than in high school. So of course, I am forced to finish not one but four PE subjects! Define struggle, literally! PE 1 was easy, board games. Oh, I don’t mean it easy sport because it is not. It means no running, no chasing, no hitting. Easy pick. Then for PE 2, there’s darts. (Thank heavens, in University of Baguio you get to decide your PE). And there’s basic and advance bowling (Thank heavens again, basic and advance saved me because I have no other option in case). So all in all, that’s four. If you notice, I chose those where I don’t get to be the lamest in the class, less popular sport, and less energy exerted. Okay, did I already say I’m awkward?

Bowling isn’t easy, honest. You need a lot of focus, and it’s a mind-game. Let’s skip the technicalities, because as I mentioned earlier, I am not a pro. I don’t know how or why but it felt natural to play the sport, I enjoy it. I aced both classes. I love watching football but I love playing bowling.

I am a left hand bowler. Back in college, because of constant practice, strike was easy. double. turkey. four-bagger. I at least experienced those. My classmates were  both Filipinos and Koreans. If I get a good shot, they would mock me as the female version of Paeng Nepomuceno. Nope, I am not that good. I am just left hand bowler like the legend. That made me idolize him more! Because I can somehow relate, because being different is awkward and knowing he is successful made me feel less awkward. I badly wanted to meet the man of the hour.

Paeng is famous, I don’t need to say why. I get to only read about him on books and newspapers, see him on tv, and hear about him from my teachers. So yes, I know he is the only six-time world champion bowler, the youngest to win Bowling World Cup at age 19, an the Greatest International Bowler of all Time. Indeed, world Legend! I dreamed of meeting the Master someday, a dream that was fulfilled eight years later. The word starstruck does not suffice the feeling. I’ve been idolizing this man since forever and I finally met him in person! Imagine that! Dreams, they do come true! and it would not have been possible without the man on my right.

No greater opportunity than to stand alongside two Philippine National Bowling Team members.

To my colleague, sir Joe, thank you for the opportunity to meet your long time pal, Paeng. It is a great privilege to be playing with you. I at least could say I had the chance to call you my teammate. I continue to learn a lot from you, and it is a pleasure to watch you spare a split, not once, not just twice, but thrice! I get to play with a pro, look at that! Playing alongside a former Philippine National Bowling Team member, is like playing alongside Paeng Nepomuceno.

Today’s tournament, I am the real winner! Pun intended!


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