- Category: Envoys & Expats
12 Oct 2013
- Written by Rodel Alzona / A different view
WITH Nomad Sports Club celebrating its 100th anniversary next year, I figured this was just about the right time to revisit the place again.
Mike, one of my good friends from my college days, lives in Merville Village, which is just about a stone’s throw away from the sports club.
It was there at Mike’s home that our small group of friends spent a lot of time together outside of school back in the day.
We would watch movies on VHS. Our favorite, for one reason or another, was Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. We would also play family computer there for hours. Ask the kids today, and they definitely do not have a clue as to what I am talking about.
In that house in Merville, we also baked or at least tried baking cakes, experimented on cooking various types of food, and talk about girls and heartaches. Oh, and one of our friends had this thing with the old Magnolia milk bottle.
Last time our group of friends was there, we played basketball with a bunch of teenagers, thinking that we could compete with them at their level. Trust me: the score was not even close. We were all huffing and puffing just to keep up with the pace of the youngsters.
One of these weekends, when I go to Merville again, I would also try to see if I could drop by the home of Australia New Zealand Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines very lovely and engaging Events and Marketing Manager Nikki Domingo, who also lives in the area. It was about a month ago when I last saw her during a Joint Foreign Chambers Networking Night. It is always a pleasure on my part every time I get to see her.
Anyway, during my visit to Nomad, I had a great talk with its acting Manager Janice de Guzman, who was part of the sports club even during her college days.
For those unfamiliar with the sports club, Nomad is one place where expatriates in the country frequent either to play sports or just spend time together after office or during weekends.
Janice explained that Nomad is like a second home to many expatriates where they can make new friends. She said that even with foreigners who have yet to arrive in the country, the place is already being pitched as the one place they should be going to.
How comfortable is the place to expatriates? Janice said there are times when they would be at the sports club up to midnight.
Janice and her staff of over 20, with most of them being associated with Nomad for a large part of their professional lives, ensure that each and every one of their guests have a wonderful time once they step foot inside the sports club.
Among the big groups that go to Nomad are Americans, Australians, British, Germans and, of course, Filipinos.
But Nomad is not just for the big boys. It is also very much equipped to handle the kiddies with its adventure playground and kids’ swimming pool.
In fact, the sports club now has a junior football program every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. It is a two hours-a-day training for the kiddies, which lasts for three months. Janice said they calendar four seasons a year for the program.
Nomad, with its over 2-hectare area, has facilities for football, rugby, lawn bowl (the first in the country), cricket, tennis, badminton, squash, swimming and a gym.
One of the favorite places to hangout in Nomad is the main bar that overlooks the playing field. I have tried the food there several times and they have generous servings.
Janice said the favorites there are sausages, burgers and pies. For drinks, the preferred choices are Savanna, Old Rosie Cloudy, Strongbow, Guinness, John Smith and, of course, San Miguel Light.
Janice showed me the bottles, and they looked great. But since I don’t drink, I could not tell much about them. But the bottles did really look great.
On its yearlong 100th anniversary celebration, Janice said they would have monthly highlights, including the much-anticipated Manila 10 International in March next year and the Nomad’s Ball in November.
The Manila 10s is an annual men’s rugby union tournament hosted by Nomad. Janice said they are expecting next year a record 100 teams from around the world to participate.
Meanwhile, the Nomad’s Ball was last held 10 years ago, when the sports club celebrated its 90th anniversary. Although no theme has yet been set for the ball, Janice said they are already excited about the event.
Next month Nomad will be holding the Manila 6-A-Side Football, which will be participated in by 20 teams, mostly from the Asian region. The tournament will be coinciding with the club’s annual Guy Fawkes and Bonfire Night.
Nomad was established in 1914 to foster in the Philippines British sports, particularly football. It moved to Parañaque in 1969 after previously having a clubhouse in Makati City for 19 years.
SPEAKING of sports activities, 14 football teams from different parts of Laguna recently gathered to celebrate the second Bayanijuan Football Festival in the new Grandstand and Athletic Field at Bayanijuan in Southville 7.
Ambassador Manolo M. Lopez donated P5 million for the construction of the facility, which now serves as venue for sports and other recreational activities.
The Bayanijuan Project aims to provide its residents with a healthy lifestyle and hopefully develop athletes who could represent the province in the future.
The Bayanijuan sa Southville 7 is the official resettlement site of ABS-CBN Foundation Inc. Kapit Bisig Para sa Ilog Pasig. It is an effort to provide decent life to former informal settlers of the esteros around Pasig River.
Lopez Holdings Corp.’s Mike and Mark Lopez, sons of Ambassador Lopez, graced the football festival.
In Photo: Nomad Sports Club acting Manager Janice de Guzman (fourth from left) and her staff. (Right photo) The Nomad Sports Club marks its 100th anniversary in 2014 with a yearlong celebration.