Bok Mata: Groomed for the race

Why Bok Mata encouraged his sons to get into the sport of motocross racing-“I want for them to have the sense of competitiveness. As in all races, preparation is everything. In real life, the same is true.”

THE Mata men agree on this: feed the need for speed.

Bok, 53, got into the sport of motocross racing in the 80s during his college years when he was lent a bike. “The rest is history,” he said.

It wasn’t a surprise that sons Abu, 19, and Thirdy, 23, got into the sport as well, with their dad taking them to his motorbike trail rides, motor shows and races. In fact, this was Bok’s way of encouraging his boys to enter the sport, “I want for them to have the sense of competitiveness. As in all races, preparation is everything. In real life, the same is true.”

In 2005, Abu, then 9, and Thirdy, 13, rode their first bikes and father and sons went out riding every weekend. Two years after they were racing in the mini-class category.

From Quezon Province to Tawi-tawi, they regularly attended local and national races if time permitted.

Retired from competing, Bok turned organizer for the Araw ng Dabaw Motocross and Kadayawan mx races since 2010.

“These day I leave the competing to the kids, who ends up with podium finishes and are brand ambassadors for Phoenix Cylomax Motorcycle Oils for five years now.”

He also has taken another role— as his kids’ race manager, financier, mechanic, trainor, adviser. His wife and daughter join in as cheer leaders towel bearers, and “tig-paypay.”

“It’s a family thing,” he said. “This sport has galvanized our bonding. Since we interact most of the time, from preparation to actual racing, we are always there for them.”

Another essential thing the Mata men agree on- good grooming. "Our sport attracts a lot of audience. We have to look good & presentable when we take off our helmets."

If there is another essential thing the Mata men agrees on, it’s being well groomed.

“Good grooming is very important. Our sport attracts a lot of audience so we have to look good when we take off our helmets. Being presentable also applies off the racetrack,” they said.

For their grooming they trust Rocky’s Barbershop.

Bok has been a loyal patron of Rocky’s barbershop after his first haircut at the Victoria Plaza Mall branch 19 years ago in 1997.

“I chanced by it, saw how the place is neat, gave it a try, and found my haircut really cool. The staff were very professional,” Bok said on his first visit.

Just like in motocross, Bok introduced his kids to Rocky’s, Thirdy in 2006 and Abu in 2007, and just like their dad, the two boys became regular clients.

Excellent quality of service, consistent output and convenience in location of the branches in all the popular malls in the city were the unanimous comments.

“We go to the nearest one. No ‘suki’, we trust all the barbers enough to get a good haircut,” said Bok and Abu, who prefer the good old barber’s cut, and Thirdy, who prefers a trim on his wavy locks.

Bok, Thirdy and Abu Mata are the featured Father and Sons personalities in the 2016 Traditions calendar of Rocky’s.

On Rocky’s 20th year, this is the Mata men’s message for their favorite barbershop, “Our very best wishes on your 20th anniversary! May your great success continue for many more years!”

Rocky’s Barbershop is the first barbershop to open in a mall in Davao City in 1986. 2016 marks its 20th year in the men’s grooming business. All five branches are conveniently located in malls- Victoria Plaza, Abreeza Mall, GMall, SM City & SM Lanang Premier.


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Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 13, 2016.