Horse Racing at Santa Ana Park, NAIC

This horse racing trip was sponsored by my classmate Jenny Ortuoste. It was her assignment for our Filipino Communication Environment class. We even had our own trophy to give because the second race is considered a feature race. And it’s ours.

This was made possible by Ms. Charmaine Rojas, whose group sponsored us. This race is also made possible by the Philippine Horse Racing Commission, whose chairman is Atty. Jose Ferdinand Rojas II.

This race program actually excited me. As you can see: “Communication Research Trophy Race.”

We wanted to use our professor’s name for the trophy but people might think he was using class time to gamble so we opted to just race in the name of Communication Research. Haha!

This is where the horse racing takes place. It took about two hours ride from Mall of Asia to get there. The building looked really clean from outside, although it looks to be under construction inside.

View from below. We were actually stationed at the second floor, where the studio also is. As per our class instructions, we observed how the people relate to each other and what the overall communication environment is. I never really thought that racing could be this interesting so I was glad that Jenny took us here. I thought it was a hobby that only snobs participated in, but I was surprised to see people of different shapes, sizes and social status.

Our professor, Dr. Joey Lacson, documenting everything on video. I think he enjoyed seeing our banner being raised.

Communication Research Trophy Race. Wee! A memorable day for all of us. This fell before the races started, though. They raised it again in time for the pictorials. Hehe.

The day proved to be yet another challenge for me and Shin-Chan2 actually. The skies were fiery because the sun was wildly beating down on everyone. With normal exposure, all the grass turned yellow. Knowing also that the event is a sports-related one, it meant one thing: Maximum shutter speed. I felt the need to capture the horses’ gaits in frozen motion. Given also that the day was unforgivably bright, it also meant lowered ISO and exposure, neutralized color and white balance…

Up we went to the second floor. This is Julienne, posing for Shin-Chan2. Doncha just love the white against blue contrast? Hehe.

This is how the second floor looks like. The ceiling seems to be under construction, but I love how wide the spaces are. To the right is where the studio sits. Jenny told us to be ready for live TV at the end of the race.

I tried to take a video footage of this but it nearly drained my battery so I settled for still shots. We literally sat behind the camera. Haha! Go Jenny!

Sorry, random banyo shot! Don’t worry, even I don’t understand my fascination with comfort room photos. I just have to take at least one per area traveled.

Look at how bright it is outside. Julienne asked me how my unshaded eyes could handle the sun. She told me that if she were in my place, she’d feel like her eyes were being torn. I told her that Shin-Chan2 were my eyes…I was squinting the entire time I was there.

Took a picture of the races’ live coverage. That’s Jenny over there! I forgot to ask her what channel we were supposed to appear in (especially since I am not familiar with local television).

These skies aren’t as clear (or as blue) as they look.  I really should have brought a pair of sunglasses with me because my naked eyes aren’t as invulnerable as Shin-Chan2’s lens. Mine hurt.

Jenny’s daughters, Alex and Ik. I’m not sure if they were playing with their mom’s camera, but I can’t blame them. There’s really a lot to see and capture. (I am also reminded by their photos that I need to lose weight, haha! This is why I prefer to stay behind the camera.)

This is Rod placing a bet. I’m not too sure if Nina and Julienne participated in the betting but Rod sure did. In fact he got so addicted that my nose started bleeding when he explained the mathematical concepts behind betting. He likened it to Calculus. I asked him what kind of Calculus, differential or integral? He said it was like the former.

Now for my favorite part…

Parade of horses. I forgot if this was the first or the second race. What I can remember, however, is how beautiful these creatures are.

I remember Jenny telling the class one time that horse meat is sometimes served at parties. People never ask what’s being served, but who’s being served. (Which means they know that it’s horse meat and they’re just asking who it is.) During the race, I asked her, “When do they kill the horses?”  She replied with, “When they break their legs.”

I nearly burst into tears upon hearing this.

Shooting this proved to be more difficult than just fixing the settings. See, I was maxing out my zoom’s capabilities, realizing only during the first race that it slows Shin-Chan2 down. I kept capturing the horses’ butts or hooves. Thank goodness, our race was the second one! The first race became my practice ground for timing.

The winning horse, Yes Pogi. I’m serious, that’s the horse’s name. According to Jenny, he’s a three-year-old champion and winner of two legs of the prestigious Triple Crown 2010. He’s ridden by jockey Butchoy Daquis, trained by Felix Lauron, and owned by Francis Lim.

I’m not sure if Ron bet on this one, but I knew Rod won something. He was so happy. I can now imagine what it’s like for people who had been doing this for a long time now, if Rod’s reaction to the races were any indication.

Here’s a clearer picture of the trophy we gave away. I didn’t realize its face was a mirror. Sorry, I couldn’t get an even closer shot. Shin-Chan2’s reflection comes up whenever I try to. Anyway, this is the VIP Lounge, where we rested after the races.

…and where merienda waited for us. I swear, the meal was wonderful. The turon were small and covered with sesame seeds. It also had a unique sauce that I had to force myself to stay away from. The palabok was also pretty good despite the fact that I did not put chicharon and meat on it.

I would like to especially thank Santa Ana Park racing manager and AVP Dan Valmonte for being such a gracious host. He gave us the Director’s Office for use and even provided this delicious fare.

Here’s a photo of our class with Mr. Valmonte and Jockey Daquis, taken by Alex Alcasid (Jenny’s daughter).

I really enjoyed this semester because I was able to hone a lot of my largely unused skills.  Doc Joey said, “Mostly in photography?” I laughed, agreeing. But I also am thankful that I was able to write about many different environments and cultures. Our country has such a rich mixture of heritages! I’m truly grateful for the learning experiences.


  1. Glenn Ong

    September 21, 2010 at 5:22 am

    My dad is so addicted to this!

  2. skysenshi

    September 21, 2010 at 5:27 am

    Hahaha! Talaga? I noticed that not many participate in the betting but those who do are dead serious about it.

  3. JennyO

    September 21, 2010 at 5:41 am

    Yay! Fantastic post! Glad you enjoyed the day! Balik kayo uli for the big races in November and December. 🙂

  4. skysenshi

    September 21, 2010 at 5:47 am

    Thanks for the experience, Jenny! Grabe, super VIP treatment pa, when we're supposed to be humbling ourselves kasi we're communication researchers. Haha! That was really nice. Thanks to everyone talaga.

  5. *MrsMartinez*

    September 21, 2010 at 10:31 am

    Uy I like your statement tee!

  6. skysenshi

    September 21, 2010 at 10:39 am

    Nabasa mo yun kahit baliktad? Hahaha! Binasa ko nga ulit nung binanggit mo eh kasi I forgot what it said.

  7. bleubug

    September 22, 2010 at 2:09 am

    Wow! Your own banner and trophy! You really were like VIPs at the race. Looks like so much fun (and I am envious of the food). 😀

    The bright day was good for short shutter speeds at least. The image of the winning horse was a good one. Here when I use my zoom I notice how I always seem to breath and blur the picture.

    I like the photo of Jenny on the big screen. She looks so professional!

  8. skysenshi

    September 22, 2010 at 2:37 am

    OMG about the breathing. I literally held my breath while shooting it. I was a nervous wreck, especially since my zoom (on maximum) makes my camera slower in taking the shots.

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