Bay Area’s ‘Digiayants’ in the thick of the World SeriesBy Percy D. Della
Philippine Daily Inquirer
SACRAMENTO—“Panalo na naman team ng mga Ilocano,” (The Ilocano team won again).
On the phone was my boyhood friend, Abel Ysmael, right after the San Francisco Giants bulldozed the Detroit Tigers, 8-3, at home in AT&T Park Wednesday night to take the opener of Major League Baseball’s World Series.
“Digiayants,” (Those Giants) Abel, now a Bay Area resident, said without missing a beat, artfully coining a new name for his beloved team from the Ilocano word “digiay” (for that or there).
Ever gung ho for their sports teams, Pinoy partisans like my buddy Abel are dusting off their self-deprecating humor in time for the World Series—the second in two years for the Giants, who snapped a 56-year drought in 2010 to win their first world trophy since moving from the Bronx.
A classic joke among Pinoys seems to sprout wings in the Bay Area—the heart of Giants country—at this time of the year—especially with the Fall Classic close to home.
As the quip goes, the fog gets thicker in Filipino enclaves like Daly City due not to the marine layer over San Francisco Bay but because of the smoke from Filipino kitchens preparing rice and adobo all at once.
While I write this piece, Game 2 of the World Series was being played at AT&T Park between the Giants and the seemingly invincible Tigers, who swept the New York Yankees for the American League pennant.
In contrast, the road to the championship was no walk in the park for the Giants. Down 3-1 in the National League Championship Series, they reached the finals by winning three in a row over the Saint Louis Cardinals—capping an improbable comeback by embarrassing the defending world champions, 9-0, in the rain at AT&T Monday night.
This year’s World Series is expected to go down the wire, much like the other Fall Classic—the presidential race between President Barack Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney.
Political pundits are predicting that the Obama-Romney match, dead even at the polls, will end in a cliffhanger of an election on Nov. 6.
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The 28-year-old Tim Lincecum was left out of the World Series rotation by Giants manager Bruce Bochy. Despite his so-so performance this season, Lincecum, a descendant of the De Asis family of Bellevue, Washington, by way of Mindanao, remains the darling of Pinoy baseball junkies in the Bay Area.
A quarter-of-a-million-plus Filipinos live in the San Francisco metropolitan area. More than 1.5 million Filipinos reside in the United States, most of them in California.
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He made a go of life in California in the mid-80s, even landing a government job with my nonstop prodding. But the smell of ink and the excitement of the sports beat lured him back to Manila sooner than expected. Former sportswriter-turned-media adviser Clarito Samson, who died at age 52 last week, may have rubbed folks, including some of my peers, the wrong way during his colorful life. But he remained a true friend to me till the end. Among others, he reintroduced me to sports personalities and helped my transition back to the sports beat after a long absence. Farewell, Mr. Samson. You will be missed.
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