He has traveled to Athens and Shanghai and Las Vegas and Paris and Bangkok and Sydney, but one of the cities that one of Cebu’s top doctors reminisces the most is Boston, Massachusetts.
Dr. Ronald Eullaran, one of the top—if not the leading—rheumatologist in Cebu, recalls his visit: “I was in Boston from Nov. 6 to 11 for our meeting of the American College of Rheumatology. The topics were great but we were more excited to watch the game between the Celtics and Denver Nuggets. I have long been a fan of the Celtics since the era of Larry Bird. Visiting the Garden was one of my dreams. Well, it became true in Nov. 9. The Banknorth Garden is huge but it wasn’t difficult for me to spot the # 33 jersey among the retired numbers that hung from the roof.”
Basketball was Dr. Eullaran’s first game. “In high school, I grew taller ahead of my classmates so I played guard in Notre Dame of Dadiangas until 2nd year,” he said. “But during my 3rd year, when my classmates grew taller than me… I became a softball catcher where height in not a issue! Hehehe.”
Ever the funny person, I’ve known Ron for many years now since we’ve been together at the Rotary Club of Cebu West. I consider him a best friend.
Dr. Ron, tennis star Cecil Mamiit, Dr. Ronnie Medalle, John Pages
And so we talked more basketball. Was that your first NBA watch? I asked.
Nope, he said. Because back in 1995, when Dr. Eullaran resided in the US for six months to pursue medical studies, he gazed at a player the world idolizes.
“I watched Michael Jordan twice in Chicago,” he said. “What’s fantastic in Chicago was during the time when the players are introduced, they turned the lights off and they play the Bulls ‘intro music.’ Grabe makabuang ang cheers when MJ is called.”
Of his trip to Boston last year, apart from visiting tourist spots like Harvard, the Freedom Trail and Faneuil Marketplace, he paid $100 for a Celtics ticket.
“We arrived one hour before the game. The line was long but good thing the fans follow the queue. Security was very strict. They will not allow you to carry a bag or backpack. And since I was bringing my long Canon camera lens and a backpack, I wasn’t allowed to get in. I had to run to a nearby bar to leave my things for a $10 fee.”
How massive is the Boston arena? “The TD Banknorth Garden is huge,” he answered. “If you are seated in the cheapest seat, Kevin Garnett will look one inch tall!”
Last week, in another of his many trips abroad, Dr. Ron and his wife, Raycia, were in Europe for one week. Did he think about his favorite team there?
Cool… Dr. Eullaran inside the Louvre Museum in Paris
“Partner, I will never miss a Celtics game!” he said. “You know, when Game 3 was played I was in Amsterdam and, during that night, Netherlands played Italy. You know how crazy the Europeans are with football. Plus, our hotel did not have a basketball channel so we spent the whole night going around cafes hoping to watch the game—but everybody watched football. I went back to the hotel broken-hearted… nobody cares about basketball in Amsterdam! Good thing in Paris, I had the luxury of watching Game 4 from my hotel room in Mercure Hotel, Arc de Triomphe. Great!”
Back to Dr. Eullaran’s trip last year to the largest city in New England, here’s what he wrote me in an e-mail, eerily similar to the Celtics’ massacre of Kobe & Co.
“Boston has the big three: Garnett, Pierce, Allen. But the Nuggets came into the Garden with their own Big Three of Iverson, Melo, Camby. We thought we were on for an exciting game. But it was one-sided… an onslaught! The Celtics were incredible.
“It was like watching a game between the Chong Hua Medical Team versus the UV Lancers! Half time, I think, was 77-33. We ended up not enjoying the game but enjoyed watching the rowdy fans and, most of all, the CELTICS DANCERS!”
(Visit Dr. Ron’s photo site here to see his many stunning pictures, including the one below which won First Prize at last Saturday’s nationwide photo contest in Manila sponsored by LRI-Unilab.)