I’m sorry for running behind my writing schedule.  I have not updated this blog since Friday last week, which in the virtual world of the Internet is equivalent to ages.

I have been in this beautiful city of Davao since Thursday last week. Every day of our stay here is a whirlwind of activities. I simply couldn’t find time to write.

I brought my tennis gear with me hoping to play tennis during my stay.  But the tennis matches had to be placed in the back burner. I had to focus on the job at hand, which was to help James and Cris Castro get the event going (it was a huge event!). I was lucky to find time to trade shots yesterday with Lando, a tennis pro in Ecoland 4 tennis court, for about one hour.  This morning he organized a doubles match with me, but I had to beg off. I have to write something for this blog today and then get my things packed for my flight back to Manila this evening.

Anyway, the IMC entourage from Manila, comprising the officers and contestants, were overwhelmed by the hospitality of James and his family. We also were flushed with excitement by the enthusiasm of magicians here in Davao. Most of all, we were surprised by their high level of technical proficiency. Most still lacked the presentation skills, but that’s understandable. Presentation skills will come only after years of exposure to live performances.

Two close-up magicians, who admitted they were entering a contest for the first time, let alone a contest held before a large crowd and judged by international magicians, stood out from the crowd of contestants and made it to the winning circle.  James Francisco won the third prize. Landing next to him for just one point behind was a charming young fellow affectionately called by his friends “Mouse”. Articulate and possessed with youthful auras, both James and Mouse easily became two of the crowd’s favorites during the elimination and finals.

Two of the judges did not arrive on Thursday, because of flight schedule mix-ups. So Tito Cris and I sat as judges for the stage competition elimination round.  However, we made sure to have nothing to do with the judging (and even in the tabulation of scores) during the final round to avoid doubts as to the fairness of the results.

When the dust of the contest settled, the following emerged as winners.

Third Place – Jay “Prinzsaisai” Francisco (Salamangca de Davao)

Second Place – Anthony “Andres” Andres (Inner Magic Club)

Champion -Arjay Ocampo (Inner Magic Club)

In the stage competition, the following romped off with the top-three prizes:

Third Place – Teddy Bravo (Inner Magic Club)

Second Place – Michael Fernando (Inner Magic Club)

Champion – Richie Javier (Inner Magic Club)

I will post pictures of the event as soon as I get back to my laptop at home. Meantime, allow me to pack my things now.

Stay magical,