• Jasmine Mendiola


The word possesses so many meanings in my household.

For me, it connotes work as I’m often at photo “shoots”. I’ve also been filtering the words that come out of my mouth especially now that Mio’s been very observant. “That’s a bad word, Mom…” when I accidentally drop something and blurt out a four-letter word out of sheer panic.

“shoot” for Mio though is the equivalent of his latest achievements. Yes, Mio’s been bitten by the basketball bug.

For awhile now, he’s been hooked to it mostly due to the UAAP and Ateneo’s strong school spirit (kung hindi lng ako Atenista myself, I’d probably cringe at the idea too but it comes with the great educational benefits so the instilling Magis at the tender age of 7– I can take). I was surprised too that he noted specific names aside from Jimmy Alapag (who gave him his first Nintendo DS in 2009) among his favorite basketball players from the PBA. O ha! I didn’t even know he was THAT into it. He told Audrey when she visited him that among all the basketball teams, he liked Talk n’ Text the most, then Petron next.

His greatest fascination though is with the Lakers and Kobe so it’s really a sad time that its seems like there won’t be an NBA Season this year after all 😦 He got a wonderful gift from Kobe though when he visited the Philippines through the generous efforts of Ogilvy and Nike 🙂

I’m narrating this because Mio recently had his first real basketball encounter 🙂 you see, Mio wasn’t a playful child and I can only guess that it was due to his joint paints that signalled us of his illness. He was more inclined to table activities and I’d often really hear him say, “I want to be an artist” which is why we have all these art activities lined up for him.

Lately though, his statements have changed to “I want to be a basketball player.” I was a performing arts kinds of girl from way back. I recall grabbing microphones to be the prayer leader, singing in front of Christmas performances, dancing ballet, playing the piano and then finally taking up Theater Arts as my major in college. So the recent changes in Mio’s priorities alarm me actually. Hehe.

I’m being supportive though and I tell him that if he wanted to become a basketball player, he ought to learn how instead of just shooting hoops at my parents garage on weekends. He was hesitant at first because he said, “the other boys might already know how” which was quite defeatist of my son.

And on the day of his trial for the Basketball Clinic, although he seemed to be enjoying himself, the second time he fell on his knee, he cried like a baby (please don’t tell him I told you that! He reads this on his spare time when he’s done playing Car Town on his Facebook, claiming that “I checked my website Mom… why did you say….” my goodness, kids these days!). Imagine my eyes popping out of horror. My Dad, the doting grandfather rushed to carry him as if he broke his leg and said, “enough!” You see, my father is an endearing spoiler but he gets insanely upset when tears are involved, he starts cursing because according to him, if you get hurt, it’s your fault. That makes a lot of sense on so many levels, don’t you think?

Anyway, I told Mio, “get up and don’t give up. Today is a trial so we’ll know if you like it but don’t quit midway. Finish this class today.”

The whole time since then, I’d see him glance at my direction as if waiting for my affirmation. At some point, however, I found myself looking through his drills and feeling ashamed of what I said. Not so long ago, I tried Bikram Yoga and Barre 3. Also tried going to the gym years ago. All in the hopes of finding a way to keep me fit (tick tock tick tock) as the years I’ve wasted partying, drinking and smoking are all taking a toll on my body now. The operative word is “tried” and I’ve never gone past a first-time for any of the activities I’ve mentioned. So. Shame on me, right?

Lo and behold my son was shooting hoops like a pro! Save for the travelling and double dribbles 🙂 he shot scores for his team and didn’t want to leave until I said he was too pawis already. He’s excited for this Saturday and my Dad got him real basketball shoes already 😉 with his enthusiasm and diligence, hopefully he can at least get one of those Athletic Trainer Jobs or be the basketball player that he really wants.

I guess at this point, I need to remind myself to just keeping shooting for my goals too, don’t you think? If this 7 year old can do it, we adults should too.

Mio’s doctor advised that Mio can start playing ball when he’s in grade 2 so the drills he’s taking now are monitored and focus on basic ball handling. The only precaution is to make sure that he’s always hydrated throughout the 2-hour activity, rests the rest of the day after and still wears his mask at all times. He also must rest when he feels too tired and not push his strength to the limit. So far, seems to be working well for him as his motivation seems to translate to his appetite as well 🙂 crossing fingers…..


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