Using the brand’s trademark chain cutting instead of your regular ribbon cutting ceremony , Under Armour made no shortcuts in stamping its mighty authority in this part of Southeast Asia bringing their first two branches with no less than MMA star Brandon Vera doing the honors. Just after some few months from opening their very first in Bonifacio Global City, Triple Pte, Ltd., the exclusive partner in our country, immediately followed this rave initial success with another super branch. Aiming to cater to more Filipinos and address the ever-growing popularity of this revolutionary mono brand, the second branch was suitably located right in the sprawling SM Megamall (UG Level, Bldg. A). This makes it readily accessible to most shoppers in the Metro. Operated by GrupoAthletica, these hubs of quality sportswear will no doubt be run in their signature efficiency and excellence.
Reminiscent of the Star Games circa 90’s where I remembered Isabel Granada rallying her team made up of showbiz personalities like her to winning the championship in the volleyball game, Under Armour SM Megamall branch opened in this fervor. Sports personalities and local celebrities battled it out in various cross-fit workout exercises. The celebrity contestants were made to undergo several qualifying stages where the top placers with the most number of rounds completed in those will proceed to the next challenge. These comprises of sets of cross fit exercises like climbing atop a table using one leg, then pumping a dumbbell in one hand while on top. This will then be done all over again using the other leg and arm. Other sets consisted of sit-ups while holding either a medicine ball or a dumbbell and straight to push-up right after they completed the required reps. They will then either run, bear crawl, or whathaveyous toward a turnaround point away from the exercise area then back towards it for another set. They have to do as many sets as they can within an allotted time. They will then be ranked according to the number of repetitions made with the leaders progressing to the next qualifying stage.
Courtesy of Lestsky Les Photography
Never in my wildest dream did I envision myself to be in a privileged position watching the goings on right amidst the “gritty” competition itself and not on the other side of the television. In fact, I was sitting beside these gorgeous hunks and ladies of local showbiz I can smell the sweet scent of their heating and perspiring bodies. I was temporarily in cloud 9!
Who were the heating bodies I was fortunate to ogle and smell beside and in front of me? The male competitors were composed of heartthrob Luke Jicain, macho John Hall, cutie mestizo Paulo Paraiso, super bods Eric “Eruption” Tai, JC Tiuseco, Will Devaughn and Carlos Agassi, barefoot idol Gerard Pizzaras, Azkal idol Anton del Rosario, Survivor of a Hunk Ervic Vijande. The women who were equally if not more aggressive and competitive than the guys included the cute and beauteous LJ Reyes, the gorgeous Roxanne Barcelo, the strong and voluptuous Bubbles Paraiso, the timeless Issa Litton, health and fitness buff and fellow blogger Maria Persson. Sports powerhouse emcees Anthony Suntay and Patricia Bermudes-Hizon kept the event upbeat and exciting.
Aside from the team of active showbiz personalities that competed in the quest for the most worthy to wear Under Armour protection, brand endorsers were likewise present. They were: Gretchen Ho, Ateneo Blue Eagle volleyball star (whom I fortunately cornered for a souvenir pix as I am both a fan of hers and her sport), Natasha Alquiros, captiain of the national women’s football team Malditas, Robbie Domingo of Star Magic (and himself a runner like moi), and the one who did the “chain cutting”, International MMA star and a Filipino by blood and heart, Brandon Vera. My very key to getting very close to these sports idols and get to pose for some pix with them was my media ID. So close I was in fact that I was right in front of Brandon Vera when he wore his spanking new UA running shoes seated in the UA signature “throne” of black leather seat with a red UA logo prominently emblazoned in it. I even found his feet and toenails too immaculate for an MMA fighter!
It was unfortunate that I need to leave the event even before the start of the third round due to a work engagement. Fortunately, the event was covered by photographers from the running community like Reggie Cruz, Justin Gomez and Leslie Les. Through their lenses, you (and I as well) will get to feel the vibes of the entire opening event radiating high energy and the brand’s signature “gritty ethos”.