The fad that was known as Badminton

Five years ago when badminton was still in it’s upswing, it was quite difficult to get a court schedule in the Metro’s decent courts.  There were the old haunts, like Valle, Crame, Moro and the like, and a spattering of upstarts.  You had to call a week ahead of time to get a reservation – anytime from 6pm till 10pm -and boy, those court attendants were really sungit when you’d beg to be part of their waiting list.

Yonex was the hottest brand then, with the ubiquitous MP99 in it’s glorious yellow paint job commanding a saggering Php15,000 price tag… and it had to be a SP version… as the HK and TH version, though original, would fetch a lower price.

Shuttlecocks cost not more than Php50 for the top-of-the-line variants, and this was prior to the asian bird flu crisis.  RSLtourney 1, Silver Feather, Yonex AS 40 and 50, chao pai… these were the sosy shuttles then.

Shoes were pretty hard to find back then, as you’d either get those cheapo yonex shoes from indonesia (which were downright awful) or any cross trainer from Nike or Adidas, or perhaps a non-marking pair of tennis shoes jost to make do.  

The rules then were different.  1-15, side outs. Hence the games took a lot longer to complete.  I recall games where we’d get stuck with 14-all and the game would still take 10 minutes to finish!

The people playing then were different.  There were a lot of BABES then… in their skimpy outfits (skirts and sleeveless shirts)… models, pretty girls and actresses alike.  oh boy.

It was like a big sweaty party.  People had to have the latest and most expensive gear, the nicest tops and skirts or shorts, the shiniest shoes.  People who didn’t know $#!^ about the game playing it, katulong  style but still having fun.  It was the great equalizer – males, females, subordinates, bosses, clients, agency – all playing the same game.

ah the good old days of badminton.

There were some really exciting online communities to help feed your baddiction… pinoybadminton, baddicts and smash philippines, complete with it’s own dramas and political upheavals.  some really interesting personalities, like Kelvin Montalbo (and his bull horn during smashing all the way) and some other people I’d rather not mention…

Badminton was my life then.  

I couldn’t last a week without playing on Mondays in Centro,  Tuesdays in Olympic Badminton, Wednesdays in Aguinaldo, Thursdays in Battledore or Olympic, Fridays in Battledore, and Saturdays with the Baddicts crowd in Greenhills.

I actually went through over 30 pairs of shoes in 4 years

about 50 rackets in the same span of time, and incidentally wrote about 25-30 reviews of em giving me enough money to finance my passion.

The good old days.


The last time I actually played was in June of this year.  that’s over 3 months ago. 

How about you?