Yearly Archives: 2008

This 2009, if Barack Obama can… Yes We Can

Among all the superlatives that people attach beside the name of the incoming US President—“the first among 44,” “the new JFK,” “the savior of U.S.A. after the debacle named W.”—there is one more attribute that fits best on these back pages: “Exercise-in-Chief.”

Yes. Because while staring at Barack Obama’s scrawny look on CNN might give you the impression that, underneath that cover, he’s fragile and feeble—think again. He’s not.

Superman? Is he? Is there an “S” hidden underneath that dark suit? Ha-ha. It’s New Year’s Day—not April Fool’s Day—so I won’t lie to you in saying that he’s Will Smith-muscular. Continue reading This 2009, if Barack Obama can… Yes We Can

Eight top sporting stories of 2008

As 48 hours remain of the year that brought us 8-8-8, here are, in my opinion, the world’s most celebrated sports stories….

8) 8-8-8: Beijing. Wasn’t it symbolic? Perfect? That their revered number “8” would be their land’s first-ever Olympics? At 8 p.m.? On the eighth day? Of the eighth month? Of the century’s eighth year? As we all look back at the 17 Olympic days, this we can conclude: No other event was bigger-spent, had a more overwhelming Opening Ceremony, and an almost flawless execution than in Beijing. Continue reading Eight top sporting stories of 2008

PacMan vs. Hitman: Man, will this be a clash!

Wembley Stadium, according to Wikipedia, “is the largest stadium in the world with every seat under cover.” Having hosted football’s most honored trophies—the FIFA World Cup and the EUFA Champions League—it seats a massive 90,000. Will Manny Pacquiao and Ricky Hatton stand at the giant coliseum’s center to brawl? No, answers Bob Arum. The 77-year-old promoter wants the fight held at it’s usual stage: LV. “With Manny’s following in Asia and Ricky’s support in Europe,” he says, “you could say Las Vegas is the center of everything.” Continue reading PacMan vs. Hitman: Man, will this be a clash!

If you play golf, check out this site

Operated by one of Cebu’s top club golfers, Atty. Jovi Neri, you’ve got to visit this website if your sport involves walking on grass, swinging a driver, smothering an 8-iron, and caressing a putt. Check out photos. Read blow-by-blow stories. Reminisce on tournaments from last week, last month, last year. Visit the Cebu Country Club Junior Golf Program website here. Continue reading If you play golf, check out this site

R and R and the Rest of men’s tennis this ‘08

With 14 days left before New Year’s Eve, I reminisce on one of the most electrifying seasons in tennis…..


Remember Wimbledon 2008? When the world’s top two stared at each other’s eyes from across the net? I wrote a column on this space last July entitled, “The Heavyweight Championship of the World.” It was true. The rivalry of Roger and Rafa is one of the sporting world’s most watched—and one of tennis history’s best, right alongside Borg-McEnroe and Sampras-Agassi. Continue reading R and R and the Rest of men’s tennis this ‘08

80s vs. 90s: And the winner is…….

(Sun.Star Cebu photo)

Macky Michael loves the 1980s. He first drove a car in the ‘80s, enjoys listening to the music of the ‘80s, had his first date during that decade and swung his first few rounds of golf in those 1980s. Fittingly, at the Cebu Country Club last weekend, he’s part of the group called the “80s.” These are a bunch of men who were teenagers during those youthful days of the ‘80s. Apart from Macky, they include Iker Aboitiz, Frederic Chiongbian, Jay-Jay Neri, Gassy Lizares, Tining Martinez, Justin Neri, Toby Florendo, Mars Ugarte, Eric Deen, Pico Sarmiento, Nino Bascon, Carl Almario, Jonji Chiongbian, Jess Garcia, Gilbert and Gabriel Yap, Enrico Solon, Tony San Juan and team captain Jovi Unchuan. They’re the 80s team. The ‘90s? Continue reading 80s vs. 90s: And the winner is…….

Faster! Stronger! Higher! ….. Harder?

Three weeks ago, after I had finished my 12th and final laser-and-ultrasound therapy to cure the Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITB) injury I sustained while running, my fear was that the pain would recur when I ran the 2008 Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon. And so, when I asked a good friend and top Cebu physician what medicine he recommended to help prevent such injury from revisiting during race-day, his answer caught me dumbfounded: Viagra. Continue reading Faster! Stronger! Higher! ….. Harder?

Suffering, victory at the Singapore Marathon

SINGAPORE—As much as we wanted to watch Manny Pacquiao, his fight was not shown here. Too bad. But what a victory for the Filipino! Updates on our Singapore Marathon… Millette Chiongbian ran the fastest, but what a story: Staring at her Garmin GPS watch in the early part of the race, Millette’s pace read “6:00 mins./km.” That’s too slow, she told herself, and so she sprinted. The next thing she realized, her speed was 3:45 mins./km.—unbelievably fast. Continue reading Suffering, victory at the Singapore Marathon

Better to have a ‘good time’ or a good time?

As I’ve written on this sports box on many occasions, last February 17, I attempted my first 42K run at the Hong Kong Marathon and failed. At the KM. 28 mark, I succumbed to massive cramps then, when the muscle pain subsided, the sides of my knees hurt like they were hammered by a baseball bat. I limped to the 36th km. until the 5-hour mark arrived but couldn’t finish within the allotted 5-hour, 30-minute marathon cutoff time.

Why did I fail? Having trained for six months, I felt confident. Maybe, too confident. Despite experts suggesting that first-timer marathoners “not bring a watch… forget about the time… and just finish,” I neglected to heed that advice. Instead, self-assured and undoubting at the training I had logged, I targeted to finish between 4 hours, 15 minutes to 4:30.

I aimed to have a good time. Continue reading Better to have a ‘good time’ or a good time?

Freddie says De La Hoya’s too old, overstaying

It’s not aired on local or cable TV but it’s a must-watch. I’m referring to HBO’s documentary called “24/7,” which features Oscar de la Hoya and Manny Pacquiao. I first heard about this bio-short film from Chris Aldeguer. The youngest son of ALA, Chris is now in the U.S. preparing for two mega-events: he’ll watch the Dec. 6 blockbuster at the MGM Grand and, just hours later, at 6 a.m. the following day (Dec. 7), he’ll run the Las Vegas Marathon—the first-ever 42-K by Chris after training for over 12 months.

Back to HBO’s 24/7 film, what a story! It contrasts DLH’s training at the immaculate confines of his brand-new gym at Big Bear, California with MP sweating amidst the noise and commotion of the Wild Card Gym. Continue reading Freddie says De La Hoya’s too old, overstaying

Art Macapagal

Two days ago, fighting for the presidency of the Philippine Olympic Committee, Jose “Peping” Cojuangco bested his rival, Art Macapagal. What a thriller of a contest!

At first, the four initial ballots cast went for Cojuangco. Next, Macapagal, the half-brother of President GMA, snatched 11 of the next 15 votes to lead, 11-8. But after that, Cojuangco won 12 of the next 17 votes to virtually clinch it at 20-16. But, four more ballots were left unopened. The first vote went to Macapagal. Same with the second. And the third. All of a sudden, the score stood at 20-19 with one vote remaining. At this point, Cojuangco said, “I have to admit that my heart beat a little bit faster than normal.” Finally, when the last vote was said, it read: “Cojuangco.” Continue reading Art Macapagal

Boxing? A sport? No, it’s entertainment

Antonio Lopez Aldeguer, quoted by Quinito Henson in yesterday’s issue of The Philippine Star, summed it up best: “Boom Boom was in top shape. I don’t know what to say. We did our best to prepare him for this fight. Our critics exaggerate our losses and forget our wins. This hurt us. We can’t seem to win the big ones. We wanted a tough opponent for Boom Boom to test him. We got what we asked for. We did everything possible for Boom Boom. I just don’t know where to go from here.”

The one trait I admire most about ALA—apart from being Cebu’s undisputed Sportsman—is his candor and straight talk.

You saw it, I saw it and Mr. Aldeguer, without mincing words, saw it—that, against a hard-bitten, rigid and durable opponent, our own Rey Bautista was tyrannized.

Sure, Heriberto Ruiz’s head collided with Boom-Boom’s to unleash a torrid of red lava that flowed non-stop, but even before that head-butt and, worse, after that, B-B-B was outclassed and outperformed. Continue reading Boxing? A sport? No, it’s entertainment

28 Cebuanos to run the Singapore Marathon

Fourteen days from today, on the same Sunday morning when Manny Pacquiao steps on the square ring to battle Oscar de la Hoya in the biggest sporting event ever by a Filipino, 28 Cebuanos will step on the asphalted roads of The Lion City to fight another battle: the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon.

How far is a marathon? Is it 10,000 meters? 20,000? 30,000? No, it’s 42,195 meters. Doesn’t that sound crazy? Foolish? And ludicrous, to run that far? As my brother Randy, the only musician in our family, would often ask, Why? Continue reading 28 Cebuanos to run the Singapore Marathon