House of Representatives hosts Kobe Bryant exhibit

Franco Luna - Philstar.com
House of Representatives hosts Kobe Bryant exhibit
A Kobe Bryant-themed exhibit was put up at the House of Representatives.
The STAR / Edu Punay

MANILA, Philippines — Days after the passing of one of basketball's greatest players, House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano (Taguig City-Pateros, 1st District) unveiled an exhibit of Kobe Bryant paraphernalia at the speaker's entrance of the House of Representatives. 

Among the items shown in the exhibit were a rubber shoe that Bryant himself wore during a scrimmage in the country and that he eventually gave away to the crowd.

Cayetano's wife, Rep. Lani Cayetano (Taguig City-Pateros, 2nd District), said the shoe was from the speaker's personal collection, reporters were told. 

The exhibit also includes a collection of jerseys, bobbleheads and posters featuring the late Los Angeles Lakers superstar. 

Sympathies flooded social media on Monday as the world lost one of its most celebrated athletes after Bryant died in a tragic plane crash. 

READ: Manny Pacquiao stunned by Kobe Bryant's death: 'Ang bilis ng nangyari'

Araneta Coliseum put up a similar exhibit at its Green Gate to honor the Black Mamba. 

Even the Office of the President joined the world in mourning the basketball superstar.

"Mr. Bryant was a frequent visitor in the Philippines. He was well-loved by his Filipino fans," Malacañang said in a statement sent to reporters. 

"On the hard court, he was a sight to behold with his dexterity and accuracy in sinking that ball in the ring. He was a master of his craft."

For a country that seems to regard the game as something of a religion, the loss from miles away was very much felt close to home. 

Local celebrities and politicians, too, spoke out on the NBA legend's untimely passing. 

Even Presidential Communications chief Martin Andanar mentioned Bryant's passing in a press briefing, saying it was among the "bad news" of the year so far. 

READ: Filipino politicians, celebrities join the world in mourning Kobe Bryant

Senators Imee Marcos, Risa Hontiveros and Sonny Angara also released statements on their respective channels mourning the loss of the NBA legend.

For a player of Bryant's stature, it seems only appropriate. 

"The basketball world has lost one of its legendary greats," the Palace said. 

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