After a brief period at the Finish Area of the 2011 Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run and after an overnight stay at Rocklin, California, I decided to travel to Las Vegas, Nevada on the following day. My car’s GPS guided me for a 9-hour driving from North to South along Highway 99 and ultimately arriving at The Strip just in time for dinner.
There are only two (2) things that I like to do in Las Vegas—Shopping and Eating. Since I am not fond of gambling (due to lack of money! hehehe!), I’d rather spend my money to some of my new line of running apparel and hiking needs. Well, my favorite places to shop are the Premium Outlets in key cities where I visit. For Las Vegas, it has two (2) Premium Outlets, one is located on the North side of The Strip and the other one is at the Southern end of the same Strip. Aside from having all the branded stores in one place, the prices of items are discounted and far cheaper than the goods you buy in Shopping Malls.
The North Premium Outlet had just opened at 10:00 AM and I was with my wife going around the shops. Just for curiosity, I entered the TUMI Store to find out the Sale Price of my TUMI Backpack which I bought from Rustan’s three years ago. Well, for a discounted price at an Outlet Store, the same backpack sells at $285.00 (exclusive of 7.5% sales tax). Not bad.
As I looked around the store, I saw a popular face and figure in Philippine Politics and boldly said something to get the attention of the person. The conversation went this way:
Bald Runner: Senator, Kumusta po? (How are you?)
Senator Drilon: (Surprised to hear a Tagalog words in Las Vegas) Ha? Mabuti naman.
BR: Nasa recess ba ngayon ang Senate, Senator?
BR: E, di bale walang Senate Investigation ngayon sa atin?
SD: (Smiling) Wala!…Taga-rito ka ba?
BR: Hindi po. Pareho tayong nagbabakasyon dito! (Of course, I was smiling, too!) I came here to watch the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Trail Run in Auburn, California.
SD: (With facial expression of being confused to hear strange words from me which are non-political terms) Ahhhh…
BR: Sir, this is an extreme sports event in running on mountain trails which I want to introduce in our country. By the way, I am Retired General Jovie Narcise of the Philippine Army and now the President of the Philippine Association of Ultrarunners, our national sports federation on ultrarunning.
SD: (Looking at me intently from foot to head) When did you retire and what was your last post/designation?
BR: Senator, I retired from the active military service in May 2008 at the age of 56 and I had been promoting running and other long endurance runs as part of healthy lifestyle and well-being among our countrymen for the past 4 years. My last assignment was in your province/region as the Commander of the 3rd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army based in Jamindan, Capiz (Panay Island) for almost 1 1/2 years.
SD: That’s nice to hear.
BR: By the way, Senator, I have with me my wife who is a Registered Nurse in California (pointing my open palm to my wife who was holding my digital camera).
SD: (Smiling at my wife) Kumusta po kayo?
My wife just smiled and nodded at the good Senator.
BR: Sir, would you mind if my wife would take a picture of us here inside the TUMI Store?
SD: Yes, of course!
BR: Sir, once I get back to Manila, I will pay a courtesy call to you in your office at the Senate and present a copy of the said picture as a proof that we met here in Las Vegas. Maybe, I will have the opportunity to brief you about my advocacies in order to promote wellness and healthy lifestyle to our people through running and other endurance sports. I hope the good Senator will be able to support such advocacies and sports events.
SD: Yes, by all means! You can visit me anytime.
BR: Thank you very much, Senator!
The photo-ops was done and I gave Senator Drilon my personal Call Card. And later asked the Senator for us to leave the store ahead of him.
On a personal note, I was wearing a linen short pants with a Zion National Park Souvenir Shirt and driving shoes. Maybe, the good Senator was surprised to see a retired General wearing a casual wear appropriate for a temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit in Las Vegas.
Well, the Bald Runner knows how to blend with the crowd!
Now that I am back in Metro Manila, it’s time to print the picture above and set an appointment with the good Senator!