gilbert arenas account of his stay in the philippines. from

from gilbert arenas blog.
for dsp or chip norman he is a basketball player not a chippendale

Then we stopped in Manila. It was a different world. I’ve never seen
fans like that in my life. These pictures can’t even do justice to
what was going on out there. I had a reception at a small, little
venue to welcome me to the city and there were 200 people there.

One thing I want to say about Filipinos: they’re very warm people,
very good-hearted people. Like, everybody was nice. You know, you meet
nice people, but a whole country of nice, genuine, warm-hearted people
was unbelievable. These are diehard fans.

I really didn’t know if I was in Game 7 of a playoff series, I
couldn’t tell the difference. Everywhere I went it was just bananas.

I also want to give a shout out to my man from Maryland who flew from
MD to the Philippines and told me the reason he flew all the way out
there was to get autographs from me because he knew I was going to be
there at that date and time.

I did a couple mall tours. I also helped a kid with his wish. It was
in one of the poverty areas in Manila and there’s a group called GK
that builds homes for people all over the world. They helped this
community out by putting people in homes. I guess a couple weeks
before we got there, a hurricane hit and destroyed their community and
GK helped build it back up.

One little kid who lived there wanted a basketball court for his
community so all the kids could play so I donated – with the help of
GK and adidas – a basketball court to that community and the kid was
very happy.

You have to look at the Agent Zero posters they had out there. They
put me in a cape at one of my last events in Manila. It was at one of
their biggest malls and they were predicting it was going to be
crowded. I mean, crowded to me is a Saturday afternoon at the mall
where you have to wait in line for 10 minutes to pay for your jeans.
Their crowded was probably four or five thousand people in the mall.
It was like nothing I’ve ever seen before, and I’ve seen crazy fans
all over the world. It was like Golden State against the Dallas
Mavericks with Game 3 back in Oakland. It was that type of atmosphere
in the mall.

I was stunned.

They made me feel like an NBA star.

Any NBA players out there: If you’re having a bad day, or you’re
having a bad career, go to Manila. They’ll bring your spirits up,
trust me.

I felt like I just won the NBA championship, to be for real.

After we left the mall we were looking at pictures from the event a
couple days later and we were telling ourselves, "Man, that was

Plus, with the security I had, I felt like I was the President. I felt
like I was Obama. I really felt like I was running in the presidential
election, especially when I got to meet the U.S. ambassador out in the
Philippines. We had a great time talking to each other.

We actually went to a college basketball game together. Their college
game would be like if it was Duke and Maryland playing each other and
you split the crowd in half, 50-50. One side of their gym was blue and
one side of their gym was green and everybody was just yelling.

Backstage I met Manny Pacquiao, he’s the town hero. I have to be
honest, they made me feel even bigger than him at the moment. I talked
to him and he invited me to his November fight, so if I have time and
depending on if we have a day off, I might go see that. Oh, I also met
Jet Li in Shanghai, can’t leave him out.

On top of everything else in Manila, I stayed at the best hotel I’ve
ever stayed at – The Peninsula. I was in the mack daddy “El
Presidente” suite and was like the Fresh Prince with Geoffrey – I had
a live-in butler.

One more note on Manila, just so you guys can get a picture of what
kind of people they are and how much they adore and love entertainers
and the NBA. Think about this: If you’ve ever been to a Beyoncé
concert, or anybody’s concert in the states really, if they sell out
an arena it will be 20,000 fans. Last year in Beyoncé’s hometown,
Houston, she pulled in 12,000 people to her show. D.C. was her biggest
sell, she put 18,000 people in the seats. Meanwhile, she was in Manila
for two days to do two concerts and she had 85,000 people, two nights

She couldn’t even do it in the arena, she had to do it on the lawn.
Like, “Everybody, y’all just get in the grass, I’m going to perform.”

That’s how the people are out there.