Archive for the 'Wardrobe' Category


The idleness of being

I’ve got blisters on my feet from running in new shoes and I have shin splints, and so my legs hurt when I walk.

I went to the city pool to do some laps only to find it exclusively booked for the regional school meet for the entire week.

I called up the yoga center but no one answered.

No running, no swimming, no yoga. Great. By the time I’m fit and good to do all three, my new running shorts, new swimsuit and new leggings would have shrunk. Tsk tsk. They don’t make sports apparel the way they used to anymore.

In the meantime, can someone get me Fernando Verdasco for breakfast, lunch and dinner? Please?

Now what? (from


It’s the sportswear

There is no better way to have gestating plans afoot than by entering a sportswear factory outlet in Subic.

The sight of discounted sportswear revived our plan to join a short marathon, return to the badminton court or learn golf. We knew what we wanted to wear and how we wanted to look. If we were going to run, we might as well be wearing a coordinated get-up. If we were going to sweat, we could at least be wearing Dri-Fit.¬† And if we didn’t make it to the finish line, we would be walking in shoes specified for running.

So we entered the store with thoughts of golf, badminton and running a 10K warming us up for the shopping.

This is how we kicked off our sports plan: We saw something in the racks that we liked, thought of the sport activity that we could wear it for, then asked the saleslady for our size.

I found a combo of green shorts and gray tights that the saleslady said was for running and was being sold at 50% less. Appraising the shorts and tights, I asked myself if I would ever get to wear them for the purpose of their design. Who knows? I asked for my size. But after calculating the probabilities of running and sleeping in them, I returned them to the rack.

I liked the running shorts the athletically built mannequin was wearing. It was 30% less. The saleslady¬† said it was the last pair, so I said I will have it. To remove the shorts from the mannequin, the mannequin had to be lifted so the shorts could be pulled down. The saleslady, who was only the size of my thigh, couldn’t do this by herself.

All the other sales attendants were busy with the other customers like my two friends who looked to me like they were buying the entire ladies section. My friends and I were recommending shirts and pants to each other, playing up their value in our impending sports-driven life.

I offered to help the saleslady undress the mannequin. So I lifted the mannequin as the saleslady began pulling down the shorts. I bore the weight of the mannequin by cupping its smooth butt and bulgy crotch. It was a male mannequin dressed in women’s running shorts and singlet.

Removing the shorts from the shoe-wearing mannequin was neither quick nor easy. There I was, cupping the mannequin’s butt and crotch, rivulets of sweat forming on my forehead, neck and torso while the saleslady was tugging down the shorts. It was hardly a fun menage a trois.

Finally I had the shorts. I bought it without trying it on. After all the trouble I went through, it should fit me.

We left the store with several purchases, feeling good about ourselves and the future. We felt light and ready to run or play golf or badminton or maybe do all three. We were ready with our sportswear.

When do we start? Uhm, we’re still kinda busy.


Surfing expectation washed ashore

In the papers this week were stories and pictures of Pinoy surfers making waves in the longboard and shortboard competitions at the Asian Beach Games in Bali, Indonesia.

Fil-Aussie surfer Luke Landrigan, silver medallist in longboard at Asian Beach Games

For anyone who has tried board surfing for the sake of trying and ephemerally feeling cool, he knows the difficulty of maneuvering the waves. I know this because I tried surfing in 2005 in Siargao. I say tried because I never got past the arm paddling part. I couldn’t pop up and catch the wave.

Despite wearing a pair of Quicksilver shorts, I couldn’t lift my body quickly enough to find my center on the board and strike the surfer’s pose before the wave broke and washed me ashore. I got distracted by the toned arms and abs of the surfing instructors just as they couldn’t focus on anything that morning. They looked and sounded groggy and hungover. They looked like they needed feeding.

Trying not to sound hungover, Pinoy surfers at Cloud 9 give instructions on how to pop up

The pure Pinoy surfers, if I am to use as archetype the ones I encountered in Siargao, are nothing like Kelly Slater or Hayako Maki in looks. I had this expectation before I met the first Pinoy surfer, then the second, then the third, then everyone else who carried a board at Cloud 9 in General Luna. Owing to their long hours on the beach, the Pinoy surfers look exotic and appear like they needed heavy feeding. They are best appreciated when they are out there surfing.

The angle of the picture of Pinoy surfer Marianita Alcala, described as “the pride of Siargao,” conceals her face but I don’t think she’s nowhere near like Cameron Diaz or Demi Moore.

Pinay surfer Marianita Alcala, bronze medallist in shortboard at Asian Beach Games

Female pro surfers don’t just wear bikinis when they surf. They put on board shorts and rash guards for four reasons:

  • When the strong waves hit the surfer, these can rip off the bikinis and render her naked. Not that the guys object to this.
  • The friction between the board and the chest from the arm paddling can leave sores on the chest. The rash guard shields the skin from contact with the board. Besides, the sight of a rash guard fit snug on a well-endowed wearer most likely leaves a male beholder raving.
  • The board shorts and rash guard protect the surfer from sunburn. She times her surfing hours by the ebbing of the tide and not by the bite of the sun’s rays on her skin. She spends more time waiting to catch her wave than actually riding it. Sometimes, the waiting can last 20 minutes, which is enough time to crochet a 32AA bikini top.
  • The board shorts and rash guard likewise protect the surfer from jellyfish sting and reef cuts.

It’s tough to win in international surfing competitions. Points are not won by how low one’s board shorts hang on his hips or by how white his teeth are against his sun-baked skin.

Points are won by the quality of his maneuver, his placement on the wave, the level of difficulty of the wave he had chosen, and his length of time on the wave. I guess Pinoy surfers Alcala and Luke Richard Thomas Landrigan scored high on these criteria.

Siargao surfer Dionesio “Dodo” Espejon can get it lower than this

(Photos of Alcala and Landrigan from Sun.Star, the Siargao surfers

and Espejon from Friar Tuck)


The way they wore

Catherine Cox’s “Lingerie a Lexicon of Style”

I didn’t know Bjorn Borg designed underwear until I read “Lingerie A Lexicon of Style,” a hardbound book that waited for my time and interest in the bottom shelf for six years.

Borg’s designs (photo below) have been described in Catherine Cox’s book, copyright 2000, as “androgynous underwear, which looks equally at home on both male and female bodies.” I don’t know if tennis players wear them but the panties and tank look functional and comfortable.

These would just be the kind sportswomen of the early 20th century would have worn had their restrictive society allowed them to. They had to dress, look and act like ladies even while engaged in sports because competitive sports for women wasn’t deemed respectable.

Back then, female cyclists wore loose-fitting bloomers as outer garments, to the shock and consternation of the public. To the men especially, the female cyclists looked like they were cycling in their panties.

I’m glad those men are long dead because I can imagine the uproar they would cause if they saw what today’s triathletes and volleybelles wear. On second thought, maybe they wouldn’t. They’d soon find out that female athletes look better with less clothes on.

Before World War I, women played Wimbledon tennis in steel-boned corset. Today, the players exercise modesty by wearing tennis panties that sit below the folds of their butt, pleasantly distracting the concentration of ball boys, line umpires, cameramen, male spectators and male sports editors.

It wasn’t until 1938 when nylon was invented that underwear and sportswear started to become practical. Then Lycra came in 1950 and revolutionized sportswear. Athletes now began wearing underwear or sportswear that clung snug to their bodies.

I am thankful to Hinda Miller for inventing the sports bra. A runner, Miller had experienced the physical restrictions of ordinary bras, padded or underwired, and created a pair that was functional and comfortable. In 1977, the first sports bra was worn.

The sports bra is a necessity to women with an active or healthy lifestyle. But then, men, except probably Bjorn Borg, prefer women to be bra-less.


Just a paid brawl

The legit name is mixed martial arts (MMA) but it really is just a paid brawl. There is no bloodier and more brutal sport, if one can call it that, than this MMA which has been popularized by UFC or the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

The fighters have rock-hard bodies and look like they can beat you to a pulp even if you’re wearing a steel armor. They wear fighting shorts or boxer briefs, the latter distracting me from the sight of blood spewing out of the mouths of the fighters.

Speaking of briefs, Michael Jackson’s CK underwear, the pair he wore when he was said to have molested a boy, is up for auction on eBay with an opening bid of $1 million. What’s this I heard that bidders can smell it too? I’d rather be beaten to a pulp by a UFC fighter than touch Michael Jackson’s soiled underwear even with a white glove on.

That’s not Michael Jackson. That’s UFC fighter Dong Hyun Kim in his Coach Kini underwear.

So back to the UFC fighters. They can box, kick, arm-lock, head-lock, lip-lock, hug, straddle and grope their opponents as long as they do not hit the groin area and neck, gouge the eyes, pull the hair, bite and do other no-nos. Grappling on the mat, they violently canoodle and live up to their name as ultimate fighters.

The fight is raw. It’s wrestling and thai-boxing in one only with more body tattoos. The UFC matches used to be labelled as “no holds barred” and “human cockfighting.”

As I caught glimpses of the UFC 88 on TV last Sunday, I wondered:

How are they going to clean the mat with all the blood sputtered on it?

What does the fighter think when his head is buried in his opponent’s groin?

Can a fighter cry foul if his opponent has funky armpits and halitosis?

What is the significance and symbolism of the tattoos on his body?

Why are his legs too thin for his body?

I didn’t find answers to these questions as I got the shock of the day: Chuck Liddell, the main event fighter, was knocked out in the second round!

I have no idea who Liddell is but that’s the guy on the mat.

(All photos from


Anorexic bodybuilders

Just how bad is the vision of some male bodybuilders that when they look at the mirror they see a scrawny and razor-thin image of themselves?

Unknown to many of us with undeveloped athletic potential, some male bodybuilders are afflicted with reverse anorexia. If we fear getting fat, these guys fear not getting big enough.

Sketch by Josua Cabrera

Reverse anorexia, or bigorexia, is a body image disorder that makes the bodybuilder think of himself as not muscular enough and not big enough even if his body looks to us like it had been sculpted by a rabid fan of Arnold Schwarzenegger before he became the Terminator and was still the barbarian Conan.

I came to know about reverse anorexia on National Geographic or Discovery Channel (can’t remember which one) last weekend as I was surfing channels at the same time pondering upon my protracted inertia. It featured the psychiatric effects of anabolic steroids on professional athletes.

I was waiting for the doctors and fitness trainers interviewed to say that bodybuilding can shrink manhood size. They didn’t. But it doesn’t mean it can’t. My male friends, lightweight and heavyweight alike, adamantly say it can that’s why they’re sticking to their current body mass. I take up their cause. How else can you explain why bodybuilders wear those micro trunks?

Some bodybuilders incredibly hulk themselves up because they find their bodies too small and weak. As reports, reverse anorexics fear being seen in the beach and wear bulky clothing even in summer. The use of anabolic steroids is either a cause or an effect of dysmorphia, when athletes don’t have a positive image of themselves and their bodies.

So this explains why those male villains in Tagalog movies wear denim jackets in the dead heat of the day, shooting at the male lead star in micro trunks and leather jacket.

By the way, bodybuilders don’t have armpit hair.


Whatever happened to the Masculados?

I ask because I didn’t find them in Wikipedia, not even when I added an apostrophe before the last S of their name.

I have neither the compelling nor elective reason to keep track of the career of this singing/dancing male group after their visit to the newsroom during one of those indolent afternoons of April 2003.

For the sake of the uninitiated, the Masculados were a band of buffed young men who recorded humorously suggestive songs such as “Jumbo Hotdog,” “Sana Mama,” “Lagot Ka” and “Nakaka.” Their get-up was as risque as their performance that sent several women and many mhin wanting to squeeze their biceps. Their songs were upbeat and easy to sing along to and could not easily be shaken off once heard.

I say these things in the past tense because they have no longer been heard of, from, about or whatever preposition the Masculados would perhaps choose to use such as over and above.

I stumbled upon this picture as I was searching for a file in my office computer. The picture was taken sometime in April 2003 during an album tour and which I had emailed to my friend Aimee.

I have cropped the picture to remove me and Evap because the expression on our faces was anything but innocent. Owing to my position, I was often asked by newsroom tourists to have their picture taken with me. And so this was how I found myself “surrounded by real hunks that could happen only in dreams.”

But dreams morph into the unexpected.

Sought for an autograph by reporter Aledel, they not just signed their names but also dedicated themselves to her: Masculados love’s you!

Unaware of the apostrophic downer they just caused, they left the newsroom in high spirits, flexing their biceps and inviting us to buy their album.

We love’s you, Masculados. Study hard.

June 2018
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