Best of Monterey County, 2007
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Engelberto “Biboy” Rivera has only one thing in common with Peyton Manning: Like the Superbowl hero, Biboy Rivera is a world champion.
A standout football player while attending high school in the Philippines, Rivera had dreams of going on to play for the Growling Tigers of the University of San Tomas. But at 5 feet and 7 inches, he was considered too small for the game, and he wasn’t offered a chance. Still fired up with the will to compete, Biboy found another sport that would allow him to achieve greatness: bowling.
Last September, 13 years after he began playing in earnest, Rivera captured the World Championship of Bowling—defeating Achim Gwarobski of Germany in a sudden-death playoff by a score of 300-212. That’s a perfect game—a strike in every frame. Rivera achieved this rare feat despite an injured patella.
“I just always give my 100 percent in every shot and in every frame,” Rivera said following the game. It’s a simple articulation of the winner’s credo. Peyton Manning couldn’t have said it better (without a script). Winners are not driven by a desire to win. They are driven by a desire to do their best—to give 100 percent. That is true of quarterbacks and bowlers, and it is also true of restaurateurs and dry cleaners.
The winners of this year’s Best of Monterey County readers poll are not, for the most part, engaged in a competitive battle with each other. Mike Marotta, the beloved 85-year-old accordion player who has been crowned Best Local Musician by our readers this year, did not wake up every day vowing to defeat Dennis Murphy, the bassist and bandleader who has held that title for years.
MPC professor Rich Kisserian did not set out to show up his colleagues in the history department. Longtime television news anchor Dan Green, a perpetual winner in these pages, was not intent on crushing the young upstart Brian Speciale. (Or maybe he was…but still.)
By the same token, the local businesses that vie for the Best of Monterey County honor once each year—the plumbers, bar-owners and massage therapists who compete for customers every day—are generally not too concerned with defeating their competition. Most of them understand that in business, there is such a thing as a win-win.
In real life, there is room for lots of winners. But this week, in each of the 177 categories listed in these pages, there can be only one.
The Best of Monterey County winners were selected by the Weekly’s readers in a poll that ran in the issues of Feb. 1-7 and Feb. 8-14.
The text was written by Kera Abraham, Mark C. Anderson, Daniel Burr, Michelle Caldwell, Leslie Connolly, Traci Hukill, Eric Johnson, Jessica Lyons, Joby Martin, Ray Napolitano, Zachary Stahl, Stuart Thornton and Jessica Yates, and edited by Traci Hukill and Eric Johnson.