Monthly Archives: February 2009

Triathlon, after having pedaled downhill, swims back to life

My good friend EUGENE SANCHEZ, a longtime swimmer, biker and runner all bundled into one (in a word, “triathlete”), emailed me with fantastic news. Says Eugene (who, last Sunday, ran the 10K Rotary Run in a speedy 47 minutes):

“For years, triathlon has been silent in Cebu. Gone were the days when we were represented in national races and Cebuano triathletes placed well in podium finishes. That is, until last Dec. when ex-triathletes unified under one Cebuano Tri-club to bring back the sport.
“Thus, SUGBU TRIATHLON was born. First event was the Pipit-Pipti Mini-Triathlon, which consists of a 300-meter swim, a 15K bike and a 3K run. Entry fee was pegged at only P50—thus the name “pipit-pipti tri.” The first event was held last Jan. at Scuba World in Mactan where 30-plus athletes joined.

“The 2nd Pipti-Pipti Tri event will be held on March 1 at the Bachao Beach Resort in Catmon. Race distance is the same. With Catmon’s flat bike-and-run course, athletes will be treated to a nice day of fun racing… if you consider pushing yourself to your maximum heart rate as fun!

“The people behind Sugbu triathlon are inviting all athletes not just from the swim, bike and run sport, but anybody who’d like to have a go at something different on a Sunday morning. So put on your swimming trunks and goggles, dust off your father’s old bike, grab your worn-out running shoes and head up to Catmon and see if you have the speed and endurance to finish this mini-sprint triathlon. Do the tri, bai.”

Jonas Panerio of CDN on the Cebu Sports Awards

A Night To Remember by Jonas Panerio (Feb. 20)

Cebu’s best and the brightest athletes mingled with the country’s most prized sporting hero, boxing champion Manny Pacquiao, in what was an unforgettable night at the 27th Sportswriters Association of Cebu-San Miguel Corporation (SAC-SMC) All-Cebu Sports Awards Wednesday evening at the Casino Espanol ballroom.

Pacquiao, who was just conferred the honorary degree of “Doctor of Humanities” (Honoris Causa) by the Southwestern University (SWU) earlier that evening, arrived at the event along with his wife, Jinky, and business partner Rex “Wakee” Salud. He then receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for his spectacular exploits in the ring, which has brought great honor to the country. Continue reading Jonas Panerio of CDN on the Cebu Sports Awards

An appeal to Tommy, Mike, our city councilors

Let’s act. Now. With the funds of the South Road Properties (SRP) about to enter the Cebu City government’s bank accounts in the coming months, can we get a commitment from Mayor Tomas Osmeña, Acting Mayor Michael Rama and our Cebu City Councilors to repair our Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC) track oval this 2009? Please?

The Abellana grounds (as many still refer to our facility) is the lone sports complex of our city. I repeat: The. Only. Sports. Complex. In. Cebu. City.

And, are we not the city that’s envied by our neighbors from all over the Philippines? Don’t the words “Cebu City,” when mentioned to foreigners from Alabama to Madrid to Zurich, evoke a positive image that leads many to prefer visiting our Sinulog and bathing in our Mactan beaches more than any other RP town? Are we not The Queen City of the South, the capital of the Visayas and Mindanao? In the arts? In the academe? In super-malls and shopping complexes? In commerce? In music?

In sports? Yes, we are. Because we are CEBU CITY. We’re proud of our history, our resilience from typhoons like Ruping, our independence from Imperial Manila. We’re Cebuanos.

How many times, in the 23 years that I’ve resided in this city since our family moved from Bacolod, have I heard classmates from Manila, vacationers from Los Angeles, California, entrepreneurs from Makati, all say, “We love and want to reside in Cebu.”

Because we’re Cebu City. Proud Cebu City. Continue reading An appeal to Tommy, Mike, our city councilors

‘Pushing For Track Oval’ article by Sun.Star


Ricky Ballesteros addresses the athletic directors, heads of the running clubs and running enthusiasts (Sun.Star photo by Arni Aclao)

Pushing for oval repair (Sun.Star article, Feb. 14, by Rommel Manlosa)

RUNNING enthusiasts who belong to the different running clubs or schools gathered last Thursday to launch a signature campaign that will put “positive pressure” on the Cebu City officials to rehabilitate or repair the damaged Cebu City Sports Complex (CCSC) track oval.

“The CCSC track oval is already 15 years old. It is the busiest and most frequently-used track oval in the country. Its life span is only 10 years but it has served the Cebuanos longer than expected. This time we have to act by asking the City officials, Mayor Tom (Osmeña) or Acting Mayor Mike (Rama) and the City Council, to repair or build a new track oval. This signature campaign aims to get their commitment for the repair of the oval,” said organizer John Pages. Continue reading ‘Pushing For Track Oval’ article by Sun.Star

The Freeman article on the CCSC oval

Signature campaign on for renovation of 15-year-old CCSC track oval
By Marigold P. Lebumfacil

CEBU, Philippines – Some concerned members of the Cebu sporting community have formally launched a signature campaign aimed at pressuring the City government officials to appropriate funds for the renovation of the 15-year-old rubberized track oval of the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC).

Sportswriters Association of Cebu (SAC) president John Pages and CCSC manager Ricky Ballesteros spearheaded the move in a meeting with school athletic directors, heads of running clubs, and the education sector the other night at Sunburst Restaurant along General Maxilom Avenue, this city. Continue reading The Freeman article on the CCSC oval

Because of Edward Hayco, this sport dances

They started with 200. Then, 400. The year after, 600. Next, the number reached 1,000. Each year, when the Dancesport Team Cebu City held their free summer workshop to teach children how to ballroom-dance, they assumed the growing number would stop.

“We thought the numbers couldn’t grow higher,” said Ed Hayco, the team leader of Cebu Dancesport. “When we reached a thousand, then, a year later, 2,000 participants, we told ourselves, ‘Wow, this is big. We’ve reached full capacity.’ But then, the number grows even bigger.”

In 2008, guess how many children—some as young as five years old—have joined the sport of dancing? Continue reading Because of Edward Hayco, this sport dances

Hipodromo’s jive is Mambo No. 5

Ask me to strut my feet, rock my legs, twist my hips and whirl my arms—ask me to dance—and, like I declared in a column two years back, I’d best resemble a bunch of cartoon characters: The Transformers. You see, my body is stiff, my movement rigid and my art of gracefulness is, well…… graceless.

The opposite of last Saturday. What did my eyes witness? Girls as tiny as six years old spun their weaving arms and shimmied their bellies. Boys, plenty aged 8 and 10 and 14, skipped, hopped, waltzed. One dozen, two dozen, six dozen and more of them all stepped front and back to the tune of the Cha-Cha and did the jive to “Mambo No. 5.”

Oh, Mambo No. 5. Who doesn’t know the tune? Who doesn’t, when the music plays and the words “Ladies and gentlemen, this is Mambo No.5” explode off the loud speakers and the beat pulsates, “One… two… three… four… five,” who doesn’t stomp his feet and rock his head? Continue reading Hipodromo’s jive is Mambo No. 5

The subject named LeBronatomy 101

On the cover of the Sports Illustrated February 2 issue is one man with eyes closed. A dark blue headband wraps his forehead. His left forearm is blanketed by a giant tattoo with one word at the bottom: BEAST. The cover title? It spells it all: The Power of LeBron.

Of the thousands of articles churned about No. 23, this SI piece masterfully written by Chris Ballard is different. Why? Because it partitions LBJ literally. As if to dissect a grasshopper in Biology class to decipher why it hops, Ballard chops LeBron’s body into pieces to reveal his power. “He outweighs centers and outruns guards,” the author says. “He is getting bigger, stronger and smarter—he even sees better. To appreciate the ways in which Cavaliers star LeBron James is evolving, first you have to break him down.”


LeBronatomy 101, he calls it. Here are snippets… Continue reading The subject named LeBronatomy 101

In R and R final, the champ is Mr. Relentless


(Getty Images)

Has there ever been an athlete as untiring and inexhaustible?

Finishing his semi-final against Fernando Verdasco in 5 hours, 14 minutes, he’s only allowed one day’s rest before beating Roger Federer in 4 hours, 22 minutes. In total, that’s 24 minutes shy of 10 hours of scampering for drop-shots, leaping for overheads, pouncing for volleys, swiveling from left to right for backhands…

Has there ever been a man wearing tennis shoes as unflagging and indefatigable?

While everyone, including Star Sports announcers Vijay and Allan, concluded that he’d be wearied and debilitated last Sunday—the opposite happened: the Spaniard was perky, hyper, vigorous. He was a Spanish ball of fire who, amidst the warm Melbourne air, burned and melted the cool Swiss Alps. Continue reading In R and R final, the champ is Mr. Relentless

Quote of the Week


“It was an emotional moment, and I think this also lifts up sport, to see a great champion like Federer expressing his emotions. It shows his human side. But in these moments, when you see a rival, who is also a comrade, feeling like this, you enjoy the victory a little bit less.”

Rafa on Roger’s post-match pool of tears

Rafa? Roger? Cebuanos take their pick…


Bobby Aboitiz: Tough one, John… Federer’s control and methodical and reliable play vs. Nadal’s brilliant moments and passion… Its like Germany vs. Brazil in a soccer World Cup final… Stats would favor Federer, but my heart is with Nadal.

Steve Benitez: My pick is Roger. He has worked hard to gain back his form and confidence after going through a humbling experience of setbacks. He is now more driven to prove that, indeed, he is the best ever, and he needs this win to prove that.

Fabby Borromeo: I want Rafa to win but the odds favor Roger after Rafa’s 5-set semis match that must have drained him. I also think they should schedule both the men’s semis on Thursday cause it’s unfair to the winning player of the 2nd semis. Vamos, Rafa!

Fr. Joy Danao: I’ll go for Rafa cause he’s hungrier and he has improved his game vs. Roger; though he humbly respects the master magician and his enormous talent. Go, Rafa! Continue reading Rafa? Roger? Cebuanos take their pick…