The Cebu City Sports Complex or simply Abellana is the home of the city’s fast growing community running community and fitness enthusiasts. This is the place where people go running in the early hours of the day and the hours before dark. This is all also an all-round venue for such diverse activities. Here you will find people do belly dancing, dance sports, cheer dance, cappoera, waka-waka, aerobics, hip hop and yes, tinikling. If you’re into something wetter there’s an Olympic size swimming that will cater coolest exercise. Shuttlers are also not out of place but rather dominate cock smashing game in the badminton area. If one prefers physical sports don’t worry there is a testosterone filled boxing gym inside. Of course taekwondo can give you the rare chance to kick some butts legally, and so does the karate classes.
But I insist everybody must try tai-chi courtesy of Manong Tai-chi everyday for free!
The Azkals would be so proud to see so many young people trying out football training and matches held here every weekends. Then there’s the Frisbee guys running and chasing a round an object that really look like a plate. Hah it’s mad fun, you should try it.
There are a lot of people that go to Abellana everyday. They come from every walks of like. The prominent figures are the tracksters from the top universities preparing for the national games next week, next month, next year, next to never.. they are always there showing off their glorified figures. Their older contemporary are the serious runners who makes their living through running and sweeping off everybody in the fun run (eat our dust). Next are the businessmen – old, talking business stuffs while running, and expensive gears they wear. I belong to the ordinary tracksters, the lost souls trying to sweat off the rest of the world through running. We run for the sick fun of it. Then there’s the hot babes running loose, oh they are Cebu’s unspoken tourist spots.
People from all walks of life visits the stadium: runners, athletes, dancers, footballers, volleyballers, baseballers, businessmen, poor men, old men, young men, politicians, priests, students, professionals, nurses in white, lady in white, tall men, dark men, long hair, short hair, girls scouts and boys scouting girls and vice versa.. yatata yatata.
Abellana has always been my safe saven in this city. This is where I discovered the love for running. This is where I find peace despite my hectic schedules and the ever-increasing responsibilities as a professional. This is the place is the place where I can be alone and just be the care free person that I am. In Abellana I feel like a teenager – young and wild.
But despite the people and the activities that made this place so great, one can never turn on a blind side to the fact that is overused and deteriorating. Abellana has been around here for decades and so are its facilities. The rubberized tracks are now soft and easily melt under the heat of the sun. Track number 1 gets flooded whenever it rains due to poor drainage. The turfs are hard that makes the grass hard to grow. The facilities are old no doubt. The bleachers were dirty before the Sinulog. The complex needs more bleachers to cover up bigger crowds for an Azkal game or a Sinulog extravanza.
Renovation is inevitable. That’s the solution to give the place grand make-over and a fresh new look. And now it’s official, comes this summer the whole place will be close to give way for the much anticipated and long-awaited RENOVATION. We are only a few days away from its closure that could take 3-4months before its target completion. It’s a long wait that could mean an extended break from the healthy lifestyle of many.
So now I ask, where do we go now?
The biggest skeptics would belong to the runners who grew the most accustomed to the place’s comfort zone. I myself don’t really want to go roadrunning the rest of that period. I don’t trust myself running the streets of Cebu for safety reasons. But I made some research for possible alternative to run to within the city. Number one on the list is the Plaza Indepencia, big place, lots of trees, and love birds at night. Second is the Ayala grounds where sky scrappers are starting to grow with young professionals having their egos grow with it. Lastly I’ll hit the gym with a treadmill.
So far I am still undecided where to go when Abellana formally closes. But I’m happy the development knowing well that it is for the best of everybody. Four months is such a short time compare to the long term benefits we will enjoy afterwards. From Cebu I am wishing more people to embrace the healthy lifestyle buy putting on your shoes and start moving.