Jockeys rocked the house last December 30 during the annual Christmas party of the New Philippine Jockeys’ Association held at the Philippine Racing Club Social Hall, Makati City, with singing, dancing, and feasting for riders and their families and guests.
What people know of horseracing jockeys is, in general, only what they see on cable television’s Karera Channel. Short muscular men dressed in colorful eye-popping silks swing a leg atop thoroughbreds taller than themselves and ride them at top speed around an elliptical track. Their faces are barely discernible under their helmets and the straps criss-crossing their cheeks. You get to know them by their eyes and their smiles.
A race at Santa Ana Park (2006).
Theirs is a physically demanding and very stressful job. So every once in a while, to ease the pressure, they like to do karaoke, dance, drink light beer from cans, and wear weird clothing.
Hey, don’t we all?
The “Singing Jockey” Budoy Novera croons an ’80s hit while Noriel Cannaoay rocks a kilt and Jeff Zarate gets with it. Pasaway, dudes.
An average Filipino party consists of several traditional elements. There will always be food – the ever-present rice and ulam – meat, fish, seafood, and vegetable dishes. There will always be drink – the host serves beer, usually San Miguel Light in cans and/or Pale Pilsen in bottles; he may also supply liquor such as brandy or rum, while guests may bring bottles too. There will always be entertainment, usually song and dance numbers and/or karaoke.
Corporate or group/organization parties during the holidays will also have prize raffles and speeches by management or special guests and officers of the organization.
Junior members of the group are expected to entertain the senior members with some sort of presentation.
The San Lazaro Leisure Park, Cavite-based apprentice jockeys of the Philippine Jockeys Academy dance to an old pop tune, clad in matching shirts. Let’s hope they are more coordinated on top of horses than they are on a dance floor.
The holiday season is always a time to let off steam. Jocks know how to party hearty. They rock on and off the track. Woot! *rock horns*