From AC to MOA for media darling | Inquirer Sports
In Huddle

From AC to MOA for media darling

/ 08:26 PM October 08, 2011

The SM Mall of Asia is such a huge  shopping and recreational complex, I did not expect to bump into Ms. Josie Araneta, who had recently transferred employment there.
Ms. Josie is not an Araneta, but that’s how she’s listed in my cell phone directory. As she herself told me later that evening, that is also how she is listed in many other cell phone directories.
Ms. Josie is the petite, smiling lady who mans the special entrance of the Smart Araneta Coliseum for media, players and PBA officials. She has been there ever since I can remember.
Apart from her job at the coliseum gates, she also does the rounds of the newspaper offices to do PR work. In her own words, she does the job of three people. She has become particularly popular with the fourth estate because she gives us complimentary tickets to concerts and live screenings of Manny Pacquiao fights.
* * *
Ms. Josie was both surprised and delighted to see me sipping hot coffee in one of the coffee shops beside the bowling center where she was assigned. I told her I had just sneaked out of the Cuneta Astrodome for a quick cup of cappuccino and would return  for the second game between Petron and B-Meg.
The first thing I asked her was why she left Araneta, when she had worked there for decades. I heard that a lady superior had given her a severe dressing down in front of so many people, causing her to lose face and suffer mental anguish.
“Is this true?” I asked.
Ms Josie just smiled. After that humiliating incident, she said she decided to accept a standing offer from Manny Atacador, her former boss at Araneta who is now with the SM MOA where a coliseum is being built.
Ms. Josie said she had worked for the Aranetas for 41 years and had absolutely no plans to leave until the incident with her power-tripping female superior.
* * *
“The Coliseum will be named SM Arena. The contractors project it to be ready on or about the first quarter of 2012. Definitely the Arena will be operational when the UAAP season opens next year. The basketball games will be played here,” Bonnie Solis, division manager of the SM MOA, who was introduced to me by Ms. Josie, informed me.
A former national bowler, Bonnie manages the busiest bowling center in the whole country where big tournaments are ongoing whole year round, both sponsored by SM and private companies.
From what he knows, Bonnie said the Arena has made a bid for the staging of the PBA games, possibly next season.
“I’m not sure if the final agreement will be to stage all the games in Metro Manila here or only one or two playdates a week. The parties are still negotiating,” said  Bonnie, who invited me for a tour of the bowling  center where the 10th SM Bowling Cup was ongoing.
“We’ve given away two brand new Chevrolet cars to the first prize winners of the first two tournaments this year. This one will be awarded to our December winner, Bonnie informed me as we inspected the handsome and shiny Chevy Cruze LT displayed inside the bowling center.
We then proceeded to the bowling lanes which I noted was dimly lit. Bonnie said it is the latest trend in bowling  centers. “Dim lights and comfortable sofas are the latest.”
The 32 lanes are never empty, he said. “Neither are the billiard tables  and video game machines. Our customers can choose what activity they want.”
* * *
I was headed back to the Astrodome, escorted to the exit by Ms Josie when we came across Jed Arboleda, another of her co-staffer at Araneta.
The exact dates have not been set, said Jed but this early he is extending an invitation to the unveiling of their giant Ferris wheel, which has air-conditioned gazebos and does one full circle in 10 minutes. He also invited me to the launch of their hockey tournament.
“Ice hockey? You mean you’ll have enough teams to compete in an ice hockey tournament?” I was a bit incredulous.
The answer was a double affirmative.
Inside the car on my way back to Cuneta, I tinkered with my cell phone  wondering what last name to attach to “Josie.” SM MOA didn’t seem appropriate, Araneta was no longer relevant.
Might as well list down her real name, Josie Altarejos, which I found out only that evening.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

TAGS: Araneta Coliseum, MOA, PBA, Sports

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.