Daddy Max is 93 years old and he still playsBADMINTON-PICTURE competitive badminton TWICE a WEEK. Three (3) years from now, Daddy Max will break the record set by Henry O. Paynter of Westbank, British Columbia, Canada, who was said to have played competitive badminton till 95 years old. If God Almighty would will it, and Daddy Max would still continue playing competitive badminton until 2018, Daddy Max will be the oldest player of competitive badminton in the whole world. Of course, Daddy Max is my father who was born 93 years ago in Toledo City, Cebu, Philippines.

After the sport became in vogue once more in the late 1990s, perhaps fueled by the fact of a real estate crunch in Metro-Manila which brought a lot of warehouses in the metropolis absolutely with no takers-lessees, those warehouse-lessors, moved by their entrepreneurial spirit, converted the warehouses into covered badminton courts. Eventually. almost everybody in Metro-Manila became a badminton enthusiast.   Thus, my brother Wilson, who similarly was caught by the seeming contagion, put up a covered badminton hall consisting of TWO (2) badminton courts inside a former warehouse structure adjoining another warehouse which serves as depot to his commodities-trading business. The facility which features a wooden-floor playing venue is very near too to our Law Office, thus as I endeavored to follow the footsteps of Daddy Max, to  long life, I have myself embraced the sport and would usually play badminton at least THRICE a week.

The history of badminton in the United States began with the first Badminton club, the Badminton Club of New York, which was founded in 1878. The game flourished in the 1930s when places such as the YMCA and educational institutions began offering badminton instructions. Badminton became a popular pastime for many Hollywood stars including James Cagney, Bette Davis, Ginger Rogers, and Douglas Fairbanks, which further helped to promote the sports in the 1930s.

In the Philippines, it was in the year 1920 when British and American expatriates introduced badminton in the country. As early as the 1950s, the International Badminton Federation recognized the Philippines as its 21st member country. Since then, Filipinos have been playing    badminton in international tournaments.

Thus, in the 1960s badminton begun to become some kind of a craze. At that time, Daddy Max became a friend of Col. Rudy Yan who is the nephew of Gen. Manuel Yan who eventually became Armed Forces of the Philippines-Chief of Staff. Col. Rudy Yan was a badminton enthusiast as a relative of the Yan clan, Johnny Yan, emerged as one of the Filipino champion at the Hongkong Open held in 1962.

Eventually, Daddy Max was introduced to this sport and Daddy Max became a very loyal advocate of the game. Daddy Max was then Security Officer of the Logistics Center at Camp Aguinaldo and within the Logistics Command is a warehouse which was eventually converted into a badminton court.

During Daddy Max’s badminton heydays,  he would usually play three (3) times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and sometimes even on Sundays when a tournament is scheduled. Up to now, Daddy Max plays competitive badminton as he would almost always use the drop shot as a winning strategy.

Two (2)  years ago, when a tournament was held at the badminton court, and Daddy Max was called in to play an exhibition match, I got a little bit alarmed. He was really playing the game as though he was a youthful and energetic shuttlecock-smasher and was reaching for the shuttlecock almost everywhere. I came near him during a break and whispered into his ears politely: “Daddy, hinay hinay lang at baka matumba at madisgrasya kayo.” [English translation: “Daddy, please do not play too hard, just keep it easy, you might stumble and get into an accident.”]

And this was his reply: “Eh, ang daming chicks na magagandang nanonood eh!” [English translation: :What the heck, there are a lot of beautiful ladies among the spectators!”.]

And I just kept quiet and watched the game continue!!!

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