No Kenyans Please!

2 11 2009

“When we run, we are already so exposed, often nearly naked in our shorts and T-shirts, huffing and puffing, purified by the effort. Briefly removed from the defenses and secrets we maintain in so much of our lives, we feel less need to hide our private thoughts, loves, fears, and stresses. We share.” -Amby Burfoot

sim4

photo courtesy of ceburunning.com

Many experts say  that  Filipinos can only excel in only three sports when it comes in an international competition: Boxing, bowling and billiard! The rest we can only compete, but we can never be a world champion.

Take for instance, in running. The QCIM and the SIM were all dominated by those Kenyans. Those ‘monsters’ in running not only lambasted our local bets, but literally amassed all  the top  cash prizes at stake, right here in our native land.

I have nothing against those Kenyans, in fact, I admire and apotheosize them. To have them here in our country in this friendly competition is an honor and maybe  a tool  to test our ability against them.

But let’s be very honest. When we invited those Kenyans, it seemed that those cash prizes  belonged to them already eventhough the race has not yet started. In our present time, no one can beat those Kenyans. Our number one,  Eduardo Buenavista cannot compete due to PATAFA’s sanction and even if he lay a finger on, I don’t think he had a good chance because those Kenyans ran like a team (6-7 of them), with a leader and a spoiler, while our local bets ran in their own, with no team mates whatsoever. Elite runner and country’s number 2, Cresenciano Sabal admitted  in an interview that those Kenyans were too strong and powerful for him.

I don’t know if these Organizers invited other countries aside from Kenya, but if  they did, those countries in my own opinion will not join, irregardless of a very tempting cash prices,  if they will  realize that Kenyans will be present.

By the way, I received an unconfirmed reports that some of the Kenyans were boorish and  uncultured in behavior  in the recent QCIM for they swatted away  those water cups intentionally so that the next Filipino runners cannot drink anymore or causing some delay. If this is true, this is not a friendly competiton anymore and I don’t think it would make sense inviting them once again. Right here in our own turf? Those marshals who saw it happened must come out and maybe castigate those erring imports. This is unethical and a big blow to a poor  ‘Juan dela Cruz.’

We all knew we have no match against those Kenyans specially  now that the Philippine Sports is doing  nothing to develop and support local runners. They have a program for them, but with a scanty budget, I don’t think  our local runners could excel.

So, what is my point here?

Don’t invite those Kenyans next year.

Instead, invite other countries.

And if we have already a top bet for those Kenyans, we can invite them once again.

It’s my  opinion only.

What do you think?

See you at the races.

God be Praised!

Did you know…

… that today is the anniversary of the International Space
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32 responses

2 11 2009
wilson

that is really sad news about the kenyans’ behaviors, if true.

anyway, i do agree that our own athletes are still far from being equals with those kenyans, much more, from competing at international levels. the kenyans that went here were even virtual unknowns, the so called “benchplayers” in basketball. sad to say, the really good ones would probably still find the prize money of the QCIM and the SIM insignificant so they would opt to run elsewhere. but then maybe the focus shoudn’t be on attracting top runners, but foreign “ordinary” ones who would come here for running tourism. to do that though, we’d have to raise the quality of our races first, not just the prize money.

2 11 2009
Qamatis

By saying that QCIM and SIM are international marathons, then we have to expect people from other countries to join. Just because local bets cannot (yet) compete with them is no reason to ban them! It’s very discriminating to invite athletes “other countries” but not those from Kenya. And with regards to the reports about Kenyans swatting away the cups? As you mentioned, they’re unconfirmed. Anyone could start those rumors. Very fast runners (those in contention) inadvertently spill some cups on tables because they try not to slow down.

3 11 2009
sleepingiant

I read in some blogs that the Organizer paid for their (Kenyans) airfare just to be able to compete here, if that’s true then it’s also unfair for our local runners particularly those ‘seeded’ ones who shouldered among themselves their expenses going to Subic or QC…

We cannot say that a certain Marathon can be called ‘International by standard’ just because there are Kenyans around. How about jamaican or South African or Americans?

3 11 2009
mannybordo

While it is true that we’re not after the ‘prize’, but for those elite runners, they’re aspiring for it and it’s so pathetic that our locals cannot get it when they needed it most.
Let our athletes train harder but I don’t think they could match those Kenyans.

I pity our locals. It only means we have a lot of overhauling to do to compete internationally. If Kenyans will stay here longer, they will dominate all those incoming races. Poor ‘Juan’ will only eat their space dust…

3 11 2009
enchling

Dapat wag na nga muna nating imbitahan ang mga kenyans kasi di pa naguumoisa ang race, alam mo na agad if sino ang mananalo. Wala ng thrill. Imbitahan naman natin ang mga Chinese, Australians, Canadians…at yung mababango hehehe.

Bago na natin sila imbitahan pag may pambato na tau at ready na tau. kakahiya eh, tambak ang pinoy.

3 11 2009
Mannyfanatics

Boxing na lang, tingnan natin if may lalaban kay Manny Pacman sa mga taga Kenyans hehehe

Manny will win vs Cotto. Go go Manny!

3 11 2009
capadociasheryl

Sir, agree po ako na wag muna natin silang imbitahan hanggat hindi pa naaayos ang ating sistema tulad ng supply ng tubig, ruta, mga palpak na Organizers at marami pang iba. Nakakahiya lang tayo sa mata ng mga dayuhan.

3 11 2009
speedsterbikster

i have to disagree that we should NOT invite kenyans if we think that there is no filipino runner who has a chance to win. i think that whoever wants to compete here, be it kenyans, japanese, americans, whoever…should be allowed whether invited or thru their own will. the presence of world class elite athletes pushes the bar higher and makes our own filipino athletes train harder to be able to get to the “kenyan”s” world class level. also, some dirty tactics are really present whether here or in other international events. but its part of the game, in boxing, manny pacquiao has been “low blowed” and “head butted”, though illegal, its part of the game and we have to learn how to play and avoid the opponents dirty tactics. my question is, if we dont invite “strong” and “powerful” runners because we think filipino runners cannot win against them, should we also not send athletes to the olympics if we think that they dont have a chance to win a medal? lastly, i also believe that (except for the kenyans getting all the prize money) our top marathoners appreciate the presence and competition of the kenyans in races. its just like being able to play basketball with an nba star like kobe, lebron, or even micheal jordan. we know we dont have a chance to win against them, but the pleasure and experience of playing with them is priceless.

3 11 2009
jonnifer

Take for example, the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon and other races. It has prizes both for international and local participants. In that way, the locals are not marginalized and will still continue to be inspired to train and win.

Regrettably, we perhaps are too far from realizing that.

3 11 2009
ben_bigalbal

We’re always inviting them but are they inviting us with the same level of importance? (As stated; free air fare etc)

Just a thought…..

3 11 2009
talksmart

Hi. This blog has been nominated for the Filipino Blog of the Week award (week 185). You may visit the site and vote. Poll can be found on the sidebar. Good luck.

3 11 2009
schlagger

i’d like to echo what qamatis and speedsterbikster said… having those world class athletes should inspire us to become better at the sport… even if biologically (among others… financially, technologically, etc), we’re not strong enough to compete now with them kenyans (and the rest of the world-class marathoners for that mater… paula radcliffe, ryan hall, etc.). excluding them from our events would only prove to the world that we’re just a bunch of sour losers.

what we could do to somehow offset the disparity is to include separate categories for elite foreigners and elite locals (similar to the qcim, camsur, etc.). local athlete can then get their share of the limelight.🙂

3 11 2009
carlito

I have to disagree with your post. The presence of Kenyans increases the level of competition and gives local runners a chance to prove themselves against international opponents. The idea of having separate prizes for the top international and top local placers is a common practice in many marathons and should be adopted here so that the local runners will have something to strive for.

Regarding the alleged bad behavior of the Kenyans, I will reserve judgment until there is clear proof that such acts did happen. In a race, it is very easy for these water cups to be knocked down especially if these are placed close together and if these elites grab them without stopping while running at a fast pace.

3 11 2009
kingofpots

who among the well-known/rich runners and corporate sponsors have come up with an elite team long distance project? NONE! i organized the elite team bald runner last june 2008 without any support from the corporate world or patafa and it was my personal initiative to have potential elite runners to “train as a group”. the members of this elite team assist in our BR “speed training” to newbies and other runners who want to be competitive with a minimal fee that goes to support training of the elite team. however, the funds we are getting from the new runners are not enough to support a group of 15 elite runners as we charge a minimal fee of P500 per quarter to our students. i had to remove other members because of attitude problems/lack of discipline and encouraged younger runners with potentials to join my team. the focus of the team is to “train as a group” and compete like the kenyans. it is only on the 2nd quarter of this year that our training had been monitored seriously by myself with a program that would last for years. remember that the kenyans had been training for years since they were 10-12 years old. i am happy with the performance of my elite team from the Milo Marathon up to the SIM. Although some of my elites had seen the Kenyans run last year, they are now more inspired to train harder now that they have ran side by side with them. for your info, the kenyans at SIM were all praises to Alquin Bolivar even if he placed #9 as they see Alquin to have potentials to reach 2:10 hour finish time with the proper training. this is alquin’s 2nd marathon race and he is still young. within the span of 5-7 years, i see a bright future for my “boys & girls” with the hope that the running community and the corporate world will support the training and program of excellence to my elite team. I’ll give your readers a challenge—if we can only give support to send one or two of my elite runners to train and live with Kenyan runners, i think we can transform them as “world-class” runners in the future.

3 11 2009
gil

lets invite more more competitive foreign runners not only Kenyans. Let our local runners practice more. kaya natin yan.

3 11 2009
i2runner

Inviting Kenyan runners to compete with our runners is like inviting NBA basketball players to play with our PBA players. They’re out of our league, but we still should see how they match-up with our locals, a way to benchmark our runners. It has been proven again and again that the Kalenjin tribe in Kenya have superior running genes – they only need to train for a few months go achieve the world class status. Well if that is really true, maybe we really ought to be realistic and compete with other countries first, like Japanese runners (which I hear are really good) or other European runners.

I read in some book (Run Fast) that since all runners are different, we should train different from each other. Just because the Kenyans could run 200kms/week doesn’t mean our elites ought to do it also. Maybe our elites can do 250Kms/week🙂

3 11 2009
greencursor

inviting kenyans is a cheaper way of exposing our athletes to international competitions. this is a smart move. nothing to lose. everything to gain. only by testing our mettle against them can we gauge our skills – how far can we go in the international arena.

shunning competitions is much like avoiding negative comments. it will never give you the true picture of yourself. on the contrary, we should even encourage them for our elite athletes. these will inspire them to improve further. the observation that these athletes work as a team is an eye opener to us. since competing alone in international competititions is definitely a handicap, we should therefore give encouragement and support to our elite running teams.

however, we should not tolerate brash, unsportsmanlike conduct at all cost at the expense of our local athletes. we must not be cowed by these foreign athletes, and we should instill in their minds that our hospitality does not and will not extend to these types of behavior. ever!

3 11 2009
GarryBarruelo.uk

Tama lang siguro na wag na muna nating imbitahan ang mg Kenyans dahil sila ang pinaka ‘Champion’ sa larangang ito. Bago mo makalaban ang isang Champion,dadaan ka muna sa mga challenger para magandang laban ang mapapanood natin. Ang rank number 10 ba na boxer ay pde agad ilaban sa no.1 o ang basketball team na di man lang pumapasok sa elimination sa asean tournament ay isasabak agad sa Los Angeles Lakers o sa NBA selection? Pwede siguro ung sinasabi ng iba if ‘fun games’ lang tulad ng gnawang PBA selection vs NBA legends two months ago, pero yun ay exhibition game lang at nagyari lampas na sila sa kanilang ‘prime.’

Pwede mo bang makalaban si Michael Jordan o kobe at lebron?Hindi yun pwede dahil di ka qualified. kailangan mo munang talunin ang Chinese team. Ganun din sa running, bago ang Kenyans yun munang countries na nag-aspire ding matalo ang Kenyans at sila muna ang imbitahan natin.

At katulad ng sinabi ni greencursor,wag nating hayaan na dayain tayo dto sa ating bayan. Sa abroad nga,kinakawawa na tayo dahil maliit lang tingin sa ating mga Pilipino,(i know because I’m here in abroad) pati ba namn dyan sa atin,kakawawain pa din tayo?

At hindi kagalakang makasabay ang mga Kenyans, dahil hindi ka makakasabay sa kanila sa takbuhan. Makikita mo lang sila sa starting line pero after that, mawawala na sila. At hindi mo na rin sila makikita sa finish line.

Walang masamang magimbita ng mga foreign runners, pero dapat ding protektahan ang karapatan ng mga mananakbong pilipino. Iba ang pananaw ng mga runners na gusto lang makatapos sa race kesa sa mga runners na gustong manalo at kumuha ng premyo.
Magkaisa tayong palakasin ang sports sa ating bansa at hindi payamanin ang mga imported. Mas kailangan yan ng atletang pinoy, dahil hindi rin sila mayayaman.

3 11 2009
mjserrano

I have to disagree with what schalagger said: …’excluding them from our events would only prove to the world that we’re just a bunch of sour losers.’
Why? Why sour? Are we a loser if there will be no Kenyans or Ryan Hall in this event?
Can running with those Kenyans make us stronger or without them make us weaker?

I don’t think so. Running is a personal quest and it’s not dependent on everybody else. Do you think a London Marathon will be a failure if there will be no Kenyans?
In our own right, we can still be winners even without them joining. I don’t know where did you get that idea?

4 11 2009
speedsterbikster

garrybaruello:
sir yung mga inimbitahan na kenyans ay hindi na mga champion….hindi pa sila ang pinaka-“champion” kumbaga. actually maliit lang ang lamang nila sa mga pinoy na sumali. kung titingnan ang oras, hindi malayo ang lamang nila sa top filipino runner. ibig sabihin, kaya naman ng pinoy pero mas malakas lang talaga ang mga kenyans. may premyo din nakuha ang mag pilipinong sumali (sa qcim, subic) for being the top local finisher kaya meron pa rin silang naiuwi.

mjserrano:
palagay ko ang ibig sabihin ni schalagger ng “excluding them from our events would only prove to the world that we’re just a bunch of sour losers”…ay kapag biglang ipinagbawal na natin ang pagsali ng mga international runners like kenyans or iba pang lahi dahil lamang sila at hindi tayo ang nananalo. diba pangit tingnan na sabihin natin ” wala na ulit sasaling kenyan kasi parating sila ang nananalo, para manalo ang pilipino, wag na lang sila pasalihin…hindi ba mas nakakahiya ito at in a way ay nakakainsulto naman sa mga atleta natin. parang sinabi mo na rin na walang pag-asa manalo sina cris sabal, desamito, etc. kaya alisin na lang natin yung malakas na kalaban nila…this might not be our time. pero as we keep on doing this, competing against international and world class athletes, makakahabol rin tayo sa level nila unti-unti…..

4 11 2009
mjserrano

speedsterbikster:
Siguro mali ang ginamit na words ni schalagger na ‘we’re just a bunch of sour losers’ parang nakakainsulto ito sa mga runners natin na nanalo sa ibang mga races dito sa atin na walang mga Kenyans. Pag wala ba sila, bunch of sour losers na tau?
Mas maganda marahil si schalagger ang magpaliwanag nito dahil sa kanya nangaling ang mga salitang ito. Medyo nakak challenge lang kasi ang ‘choice of words’ nya.

At dun sa sinabi mong walang pag asang manalo sina sabal etc,sayo nanggaling yan at di sa akin pero nabasa ko rin sa dyaryo na inamin nya ‘tlagang malalakas ang mga Kenyans.’ Siguro, sila rin ang makakasagot, at di ikaw o ako.
Sana ngay makahabol tayo sa kanila,pero hangat watak watak ang ating manlalaro at walang pagkakaisa,malabo itong mangyari. Even without those Kenyans, filipino runners can still shine at hindi iisipin ng ibang bansa na pipitsugin tayo.

4 11 2009
GarryBarruelo.uk

Speedsterbikster -kung tama ang data na ibinigay mo, mas lalong wag muna nating imbitahan ang mga Kenyans na yan dahil tlagang hindi pa tayo handa na harapin sila. Base sayo, yung mga pumunta dito ay hindi pa tlaga mga Champion?Hindi pa sila ang pinaka champion? Pero sila pa din ang nanalo. Eh papano na kung ang talagang Champion na ang pumunta dyna sa Pinas?

Ang pagkakaalam ko sa mga races, ang bottomline na tinatanong ay sino ba ang nag Champion pero yung top local finisher ay di masyadong inaaalam. Naka sentro ang balita sa over-all Champion…

Anyway, ito naman ay napapagusapan lamang pero sa palagay ko, kahit walang mga Kenyans,makikilala pa din tayo. Kahit basahin natin ang history ng marathons all over the world, hindi komo walang kenyans ay hindi na marathon yun.

4 11 2009
Luis Arcangel

I agree with what was earlier stated, that bringing these Kenyans are much akin to a cheap, convenient way of exposing our runners to world-class competition. Even if they may be “benchwarmers” if we are to utilize the basketball analogy, they still blow away our local contingent. If our runners can somehow emulate them, perhaps befriend them and get training techniques from them, then maybe we can go back and dominate on the regional level for starters.

4 11 2009
Mr.Suave

Sa aking pananaw, wala ding masyadong naitutulong ang pagsali ng mga Kenyans dito dahil hindi rin nila kayang pataasin pa ang antas ng performance ng ating mga pambatong runners. Halimbawa nito, if ang ating no.1 na panlaban sa kanila, ang kanyang best time ay 2.19, kung meron bang mga Kenyans kaya pa nyang mapababa ito ng 2.10 or 2.03? Kaya nya sigurong gawing 2.15 o 2.12 pero ang gawin itong 2.10 pababa, mahihirapan na siguro, at ito ang WR na ginawa at ginagawa pa ng mga Kenyans…

At dun sa mga nagsasabing kaibiganin sila para makakuha ng techniques, sa tingin nyo ba, isha-share nila ang secrets nila sa atin? meron sigurong ilan, pero hindi lahat ay sasabihin nila. At meron na ba kayong nabalitaang pinoy na naging ka close friend nila at nakakuha ng techniques?

May kenyans man o wala, pareho din. Oras ang tinitingnan sa mga races at hindi ang kakompetensya mong tumatakbo.

4 11 2009
nicetorun

Maganda siguro,sa oval na lang natin sila patakbuhin vs. sa ating mga elite runners at hindi sa 42k, para mapanood natin ng maayos. Nang sumali ako sa sa Subic, sa starting line q lang sila nakita, nag try akong sumabay sa kanila sa first kilometer, pero nasa 200 meters pa lang ata ang natatakbo namin, umalagwa na sila. Ganun sila kalalakas at hindi ko alam pano ang training na gagawin ko para makasabay sa kanila kahit man lang sana sa first 10 or 5 kms ng race.

Nakakatakot ding masyadong mag ambisyon na makasabay sa kanila, baka ako atakihin hehehe.

5 11 2009
schlagger

mjserrano:
i’m not sure where you got the idea, but the “sour loser” statement is directed towards the “exclusion of kenyans in out events” and not our local athletes. (how can i possibly call a loser people who could run a marathon as fast i could finish half of it? hehe.)

the primary message of the blog entry is that “we shouldn’t invite the kenyans in our events” and the basic premise behind the message is that – we are unable to compete with those top athletes because, as (again stated above) even cresenciano sabal said that “the kenyans were too strong and powerful for him.” now, by excluding international athletes (kenyans in particular) in our events, what message are we trying to communicate to the international community? simple… that we refuse to accept foreign entrants in our “international” events that pose serious threat to our local participants. and what about, let’s say, malaysian, thai, or indonesian runners? are we ok in having them here because our athletes are at par or probably even better than them? i’m sorry but in my book, that mindset constitutes what a “sour loser” is. and besides, wouldn’t that be more insulting to our local athletes?

oh yeah, just to answer you question… no, the london marathon (or any world class marathon) will not be a failure if the kenyans don’t show up… but it will be one big joke if the organizers decide to exclude them for the sake of the british athletes. but of course they wouldn’t do that… and even the new york marathon, which haven’t had an american winner in almost three dacades (until now), still continues to draw thousands of american runners yearning/training to beat the worlds bests.

5 11 2009
Wayne

Hi Ronnie. I totally agree with you that if the reports about the Kenyans swatting away cups with water in them, they shouldn’t be invited back. I don’t think this would happen if a runner like a Robert Cheriyot or a James Kwambi were there. They are top notch Kenyan athletes. The Kenyans who were at QCIM probably couldn’t compete with their top athletes in a Kenyan only marathon.

Personally, competition is nice but this type of behavior has no place in a road race.

5 11 2009
mjserrano

Schlagger, let me paste here the actual comment that you have made…

“i’d like to echo what qamatis and speedsterbikster said… having those world class athletes should inspire us to become better at the sport… even if biologically (among others… financially, technologically, etc), we’re not strong enough to compete now with them kenyans (and the rest of the world-class marathoners for that mater… paula radcliffe, ryan hall, etc.). excluding them from our events would only prove to the world that we’re just a bunch of sour losers…”

And your reply was…
i’m not sure where you got the idea, but the “sour loser” statement is directed towards the “exclusion of kenyans in out events” and not our local athletes. (how can i possibly call a loser people who could run a marathon as fast i could finish half of it? hehe.)

And so you’re referring for the ‘exclusion’ and not for the athletes? I think there’s a contradiction here. And granting just for the sake of argument that we do not allow those Kenyans, can you say already that ‘we’re just a bunch of SOUR losers? How could it be? And can you prove it?

It’s from your writing that those words occurred and I only reacted because it’s offensive and have a double meaning. In running, there’s no such thing as SOUR losers. We are all winners in our own right, whether we DNF, collpased or did not beat the cut-off time.

And even the ‘idea’ of not including those Kenyans in the future races here does not mean that those guys were a bunch of ‘SOUR losers’ already. We must respect every idea, we can disagree but not to the point of saying harsh words such as ‘Sour losers’.

Thank you for saying that a marathon is not a failure if there will be no Kenyans present, at least you agree with me but I have to disagree with you when you say that it’s a big joke if we will exclude them. The post says…

“So, what is my point here?

Don’t invite those Kenyans next year.

Instead, invite other countries…”

Read it again. It didn’t say exclude, but don’t invite. To exclude is different from ‘don’t invite.’

We really exerted our efforts so that those Kenyans could come here (free airfare as reported). Don’t invite them (special treatment etc), but we cannot exclude them. If they will come, allow them to race with us, but let them shoulder their own expenses and no bullying around (swatting of cups).

And please Sanitize your words.

cheers!

5 11 2009
enchling

Schlagger -medyo hindi nga maganda ang words na ginamit mo. Wala kang karapatang magsalita ng ‘bunch of SOUR losers’ kahit kaninong runner dahil hindi naman tayo tumatakbo para manalo o talunin ang kapwa natin mananakbo. At kahit sinasabi mo pa na yung idea lang ay mali pa din ang ginamit mong salita. LOSER na nga ang ginamit mo, may SOUR pa…dapat sweet. SWEET LOSER, o di ba mas magandang pakinggan.
Hinay hinay lang pare sa pagkomento ng negatibo. astig ang dating eh.

5 11 2009
nicetorun

Mukhang nawawala po sa topic ang ibang nagbibigay ng komento. Ang sumulat po ng post ay walang binanggit na wag isali ang mga Kenyans kundi wag lang silang imbitahan next year o bigyan ng special treatment. Wala ding sinabi ang nagpost na pati ang ibang mga bansa bagkus yung ibang mga bansa nga ang pinapaimbitahan nya. Agree ako sa sinabi ni mjserrano. Of course, hindi natin sila mapipigilan kung pupunta sila dto, pero ang bayaran mo pa ang airfare nila,ibang usapan na yun.

To schlagger-nakita kita sa Subic pero mas nauna ako sa yong dumating sa finish line pero hindi kta pwedeng sabihan na ‘sour loser’ ka kahit nauna ako sa yo dahil unethical yun. Ganun din naman, walang pwedeng magsabi sa akin ng ganun if walang sumaling mga Kenyans o hindi sila inimbitahan kung sakali man. Siguro po, mali ang nagamit nyong words at kahit paratangan nyo ang sinomang magbigay ng idea na ganun, ay di rin nararapat.

Were not bunch of sour losers, in words and in deeds if we’re striving to do our best and even if our best doesn’t good enough, we’re still good, with kenyans or no Kenyans around.

6 11 2009
m8parco

Just imagine if no one invited our billiards and pool players to tournaments because they always win.

We should always look at two sides of the coin. If you want to be the best then you have to compete against the best.

In the US the Kenyans and Ethopians win almost everything but this only serves as a challenge to the the American athletes.

The Sabal brothers will just have to train better and harder in order to be competitive in the world scene.

28 05 2010
Rosalind Nguyen

You’ve done it again. Amazing read!

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