(Today’s Fair Play entry: Hint, it’s a column, not a news story.)
A sudden change in plans had my Saturday night suddenly free and off I went to First 5, Cebu City’s latest in the sports bar scene. The change in plans, it turns out, was a blessing in disguise because I got to meet one of the owners, Bimbo Tequillo.
There are sports fanatics and sports fanatics, and there’s a whole new category for Doc Bimbo, the collector of the five–they have a contractor, an accountant, a tax expert and another whose profession escapes me.
One thing that puts First 5 above the rest is the memorabilia that adorns the bar–from Larry Bird and Julius Erving to Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, from Manny Pacquiao to Ronda Rousey, the bar has it, thanks to Bimbo. The doctor of internal medicine said that one of the first persons who really supported him in their group’s decision to put up a sports bar was his wife.
“Perting lipaya kay nahawan na sa balay,” he said.
The guy collects sports memorabilia and his house is stacked with it. And this are not just any ordinary memorabilia, these are authenticated that cost more than the latest iPhone. And that’s not counting the airfare, accommodation and the time off work to collect them.
Like I said, there are sports fanatics and there are guys like Bimbo, or to be more specific, a guy like Bimbo because I haven’t met someone like him.
Have you seen Pawn Stars on History Channel? One time, a guy tried to pawn a memorabilia but Rick the owner wasn’t interested, so Doc Bimbo, who happened to be there, met the guy outside the pawn shop and bought it from him.
He’s also a big Michael Jordan fan and there’s a rather nice figurine of the Greatest of All Time displayed in the bar and it’s quite a story how he got it. The figurine was on display–not for sale–at the NBA store in Manila; he bought four figurines at a price of about an iPhone 6s 64GB a pop and said he’d pay for them all if they’d include the price for the Michael Jordan figurine so he can take all of them home.
He got the five.
All of those items, and then some, are on display at First Five. But aside from the NBA memorabilia, there’s one he holds dear the most—an autographed Usain Bolt picture. He thinks he’s the only one who has it in the country and I think its value is expected to rise soon because the Jamaican is down to his final race in the world championships.
And if you want to catch Bolt in action, you can catch at the First 5 too. Like most sports bars, it has lots of TV for you to choose your favorite sports, so there’s no need to fight over the remote.
It’s got ample parking space too and the food and service are both great. The only drawback is the traffic going to the place—but which place doesn’t face that problem these days?