2 days ago I attended the Black Mamba Premiere at the Ronac Center, Greenhills.
The place was packed with eager fans.
And even PBA stars came to soak it up.
Obviously you won’t recognize them from this (awful) pic, but that’s Jimmy Alapag with his back turned to me, Jared Dillinger and Jason Castro of Talk N’ Text. Somewhere in the room was Rico Maierhofer too, and maybe a few other players I didn’t recognize.
The movie itself was cool. All 5:48 of it. Yes that’s minutes and seconds. But it had Kanye as ‘the boss’.
and Bruce Willis as ‘Mr. Suave’.
and Robert Rodriguez himself, whom along with Kobe mouthed such winners as:
rr: The Crippler (appears), played by Mickey Rourke
kobe: Mickey Rourke’s in this film?!
rr: Or someone else I know we can get. (enter Danny Trejo)
kobe: So there will be like close ups of the shoes?
rr: Product placements give us a bigger budget. Bigger budget, bigger explosions.
rr: Men like Mr. Suave, played by George Clooney.
kobe: George Clooney’s in this film?
rr: Or some other mega star we can afford but hopefully he knows basketball. (enter Bruce Willis)
So the thing is totally fun. Not Aston Martin level fun, but fun nonetheless.
There was great food too, but I can’t really say, since I ate at the restaurant (that happened to be catering the event) before I came. Let me ask you: What kind of loser eats at the restaurant that caters to the event he’s going to before he’s going to the event, paying for food he should’ve gotten for free? You’re reading him that’s who. To my defence, I didn’t know they were gonna serve at the thing, and I was hungry and I didn’t wanna starve before the movie came up, so I ate! That’s what anyone would do right? Ok whatever.
But if the burgers they gave out were anything like the one I had:
It was awesome. Mind you, I never talk about the food they give out at events. But this stuff is special man.
As in really good stuff. The place is called Charlie’s.
It’s pretty small actually.
But again the food is great, and my order (Angus burger + fries, no drinks) at P165.00 wasn’t too expensive either.
Anyway, let’s talk about the venue a bit.
Ronac Art Center has a weird name and is very much a mishmash of things. There’s supposed to be a mattress store somewhere, a yoghurt shop beside Charlie’s, then shops at the ground floor selling interesting designer items like dolls and cool furniture. Then at the 3rd floor is a world class basketball court with great flooring and all the works, that also converts into a venue for parties and events.
Then you go up stairs and there’s a bunch of tiny stores selling specialty kicks and all sorts of interesting knick knacks, with a Titan22 ‘branch’ if you could call it that, that was supposed to open that night I think but had no one in it for some odd reason.
Incidentally I wanted to show a sneaker – crazy friend of mine the Titan22 store at Burgos Circle today, but it’s apparently closed on Mondays which was a bummer. Anyway, there were other stores at Ronac as well, selling memorabilia and all sorts of stuff you could tell were both rare and expensive.
The place is straight out of a rich – kid’s wet dream. Everything someone totally into pop culture would want is there, along with concessions to seemingly misplaced things like a mattress place and art. But if it works, who am I to argue?
Although they really need to do something about the parking. That’s just not gonna cut it.
So that’s it, really.
Overall the whole experience was ok. Kobe’s ‘movie’ if you could call it that was unexpectedly short, but getting to see the place, which I was curious about, made the trip worthwhile. I’m also glad to see a few friends from the industry (naks). But most of all, I was glad to see a number of kobe / basketball fans who showed up indirectly because of me. I was curious to see them and they showed up in droves.
The ‘media area’ where I was had a velvet rope around it, acting like a clear demarcation line between the people involved with the thing and the fans. I remember when I started this blog, I would’ve definitely been over there in the fans area. I would write about stuff from an outsider’s pov, and quite happily so. Now, I’m on the other side, along with media and people who had something to do with the whole thing.
Seeing where I came from and where I am now so clearly separated by a velvet rope and a red carpet made me unexpectedly nostalgic. It made me realize that if I had been sitting on the fans side, I’d have been completely ecstatic and would have felt absolutely special about the whole thing. Now, I’m on the other side thinking about media and internal business stuff. I’ve come a long way and it’s been a long time.
The great thing is, I am at a position now to take advantage of where I’m at to further things along. I’ll be making announcements soon and it’s going to be exciting. The thing is, looking back at those fans, it made me realize how important it is to see where I had been. Years ago I was sitting there, huddled with friends, excited just to be at an event. Now, man oh man, things have changed.
And things will change even more. It’s up to me whether it’s gonna be great.