Monthly Archives: March 2009

Cebu Marathon 2010


It’s all set and running! Scheduled during the nice-sounding date of 01-10-10—that’s Jan. 10, 2010—is a grand event that’s long-time coming: THE CEBU MARATHON. By “marathon,” I mean the full 42 kms. (For some, any run, even a 5K Fun Run, is, at times, called a marathon.) Why the early announcement? Because covering 42,195 meters by foot is laborious, effortful and takes time. Organized by the Cebu Executive Runners Club headed by president Jesse Taborada, this is a spectacle that runners ought to join.

Nimrod Quiñones

Congratulations to one of my closest friends in sports: Nimrod Lebumfacil Quiñones. The Managing Editor of The Freeman, Nimrod’s heart, bloodline and brain cells are all wired to utter one word, “sports.”

Last week, NLQ celebrated his 20th year in sports-writing, a feat that nobody in Cebu can surpass—and very few, I’m sure, nationwide, can match. In our Sportswriters Association of Cebu (SAC) Yahoo e-groups two days ago, Nimrod was deluged with congratulatory emails from his fellow writers. The reason? Almost all of us can trace our beginnings to Nimrod.


Nimrod (with camera) with Ed Hayco, Marian Baring and Goldie Lebumfacil Continue reading Nimrod Quiñones

Tonio Aboitiz asks: Swim 6.4 kms.


Mention the name “Marathon” and what definition comes to mind? Long-distance road-running that stretches as far as 42 kms., right? Right. Well, there’s another type of marathon that you probably haven’t heard of. This time, it’s not on the asphalted road—but on this vast God-given resource that occupies 71 percent of the earth’s surface: Water.

“Open sea marathon” is its name and, in our country of 7,107 islands, it’s the only event that exists—and it’s right here in Cebu.

Jose Antonio Aboitiz, a member of Cebu’s most respected business family, started this project last year. The 2nd Olango Challenge, it’s called, and yes, at first thought, it’s an intimidating mission: to swim, amidst the open waters along Mactan, the distance of 6,400 meters. Continue reading Tonio Aboitiz asks: Swim 6.4 kms.

Whitewater Rafting: 12 tips to enjoy the trek

Summer of two years ago, Jasmin, Jana and I hopped to Cagayan de Oro and rode the one sport where you paddle, swim, walk under a cave, brave the turbulent waters and, after five hot and wet hours, emerge all-smiling. It was an excursion to remember; an adventure to thrill your memories. Here are 12 suggestions for those planning the CDO junket….

From left: Ronnie Medalle, John Pages, Jingle Polotan, Jana Pages, Santi Medalle, Jasmin Pages, Jourdan Polotan and Stephanie Medalle

1. Relax. When you first board the red inflatable raft and stare ahead at the winding river littered with boulders and strong current, you feel intimidated. You’re anxious. Jittery. In my case, bringing along my eight-year-old daughter was a risk. Is the ride safe? For children? Yes. Choosing, the Level 1 (beginner’s) rapids, the family enjoyed. Again, the word to remember: Relax. Continue reading Whitewater Rafting: 12 tips to enjoy the trek

White-Water Rafting in CDO

Here’s a good choice for a summer vacation…..

For four hours with friends and family, it’s the perfect way to bond. If you want your mind nervous and your heart pumping 170 beats per 60 seconds, traverse through its winding, rough waters. Searching for an experience this April and May that you won’t forget in 25 years? Hop on that inflatable raft, paddle, and ride this roller-coaster that’s named the most popular tourist attraction in Cagayan De Oro City.

White-Water Rafting, it’s called and, among our 7,107 islands, the best spot to try this adventure is in CDO. From Cebu, you take the 8 p.m. boat, close your eyes and, when you awake at 5 a.m., you’ve docked. Or, with Cebu Pacific offering P88 flights, that’s an even quicker way to land in one of Mindanao’s most progressive cities. Continue reading White-Water Rafting in CDO

Carmen Triathlon: Tiptoe, swim, pedal, run

Three Sundays ago, when I enumerated my shortlist of Cebuanos whom I respect the most in sports, I failed to include one name: Oscar “Boying” Rodriguez. The chairman of the Danao City Sports Commission, Boying is one of this island’s most recognizable youthful faces. Mountain-biking? Running? Cycling? Triathlon? Check, check, check… Mr. Rodriguez has nourished all these.

Two days ago, Boying was back in vigorous action. With the assistance of the Municipality of Carmen and the newly-activated group called SugbuTriathlon, he organized the 300-meter swim, 15K bike and 3K run contest named the Carmen Mini-Triathlon.

I joined. So did 24 others. Jonathan Guardo, a veteran of four Tris, participated. So did Sambag I barangay captain Jerry Guardo and Tinago councilor Joel Garganera—both first-timers. The seasoned triathletes were in full gear at the Carmen Breeze Resort: RJ Balbuena (who biked to and from Cebu City), Eugene Sanchez, Ralph Arce, Franz Baguio, Anton Regis, Freddy-Boy Veloso… Continue reading Carmen Triathlon: Tiptoe, swim, pedal, run

Going Bananas Over Bananas

Published in Feb. 28 of last year, here’s an article (and fruit) that all should consume…

Each morning for breakfast after I consume a cup of coffee and devour a bowl-full of cereal, I peel open fruits that are delicious, quick to digest, inexpensive.

Bananas. Are they good for us? For those who exercise? For athletes? I pose these questions because haven’t we all seen Lance Armstrong, midway through one of his Tour de France victories, snacking on a banana? Or Rafael Nadal, in between winning sets at the French Open, feasting on this yellow fruit?

I found the answers when an article, sent by Bobby Villareal, landed in my E-mail Inbox entitled, “A Banana A Day Keeps The Doctor Away.” A Banana A Day Keeps The Doctor Away? Wait, wait. Isn’t that supposed to be “an apple a day…?” Continue reading Going Bananas Over Bananas

Track oval is finally on track

Mayor Tommy Osmeña, last Feb. 15, sent this text message to my father, Bunny: “Pls pass to ur son john on his email. He appeals to repair CCSC track oval. Thank him for his concern. I have been looking into this on and off the past 3 years. Estimates run as high as $1M for the same quality, approved by IOC etc. There are cheaper rubberized tracks but u get what u pay for: low life like other cities have. Unfortunately, the contractor who did a fine job with ours cannot be located. We will do continuing research bcuz rubber tracks can be a major source of graft bcuz of the wide variance of prices and quality. Worse case is we pay a lot for crap. Also at exchange rate of P50 or P50m, it frankly won’t rank in the top ten priorities of the city.”

Mayor Osmeña, as we all know, is candid, straightforward, frank. And, frankly speaking, when I received that SMS, I thought the push to fix our Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC) track oval was dead. But, no. Days after, the mayor—then in Houston, Texas—commanded his allies that included Joy Young, Bimbo Fernandez and Ricky Ballesteros to accelerate the search for contractors.

Within two weeks, former congressman Joy Young listened to the presentations of two suppliers. And, to make matters better, when Acting Mayor Mike Rama received the P348-million SRP payment from Filinvest, guess what project he promised they’d fund first? The CCSC oval. Finally, reported in page 8 last Wednesday, this headline story: OSMENA OKAYS REPAIR OF CCSC TRACK. Continue reading Track oval is finally on track

June Mar Fajardo


(Photo from Sun.Star Cebu/Arni Aclao)

Basketball I watched the other night. At the Old Cebu Coliseum, the Enervon/UC Webmasters dribbled against the Maria Sanctuary Park/USJ-R Jaguars in Game 3 of the CESAFI-sanctioned Partners Cup.

Ramon Fernandez, a four-time MVP at the PBA, sat to my left together with his wife, Karla Kintanar, while Chao Sy, the owner of Hotel Fortuna and the man financing the SWU squad in this event, sat to my right.

Our four pairs of eyes enlarged. Fronting us stood a being so large; a gargantuan figure who towered like the Taipei 101. Standing 6’9”, ask him to point his arms to the ceiling and he’ll nearly touch the 10-foot-tall ring. With just one little hop and an orange ball on hand, he’d slam-dunk. Continue reading June Mar Fajardo

Al Mendoza now with Sun.Star Cebu


AL MENDOZA I revered. Over a decade ago when he penned articles for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, whenever his box would appear on the back pages, it would be the first that I’ll read. Thanks to Mike Limpag, Sun.Star Cebu’s dynamic sports editor (the two met in Davao at the PAL Interclub golf two weeks ago), the Living Legend of RP Sportswriting has joined Sun.Star Cebu with his commentary every Tuesday and Saturday. Read his article today on the PacMen, Bobby and Manny, here.

Live boxing beats a television box

Ever watched live boxing? You should. No, you have to! I’m not joking. You and I watch prizefights on TV. We all do. Who hasn’t seen our national hero, Dr. Emmanuel D. Pacquiao, on a live telecast at the MGM Grand? We all watch.

But in-the-flesh boxing? With your two eyes? It’s a must. Take last Saturday night at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino. Four couples went out on a quadruple date: not to watch the movie “Taken” at the Ayala Cinema or to stargaze and hold hands at Tops or to drink vodka and dance until 2:30 a.m. at Loft. No. Holding hands, we watched boxing. Live. In the flesh.

Chris Aldeguer and his beauteous wife Nia invited our barkada of marathoners—Frederic and Millette Chiongbian, Meyrick and Perl Jacalan, myself and Jasmin—to a slugfest smorgasbord. Continue reading Live boxing beats a television box

This wild, fanatical ride called the MTB

Like you, dear readers, I’ve ridden a jeepney, a boat, a tricycle, an airplane, a car, the MRT, a bus, a Yamaha motorcycle, the subway train, a trisikad and, yes, on one occasion, Y101’s helicopter during the Sinulog. But, among all, what is the means of transportation that I savor the most riding?



A bike. Why? Because, in my brain’s definition, these words are inscribed: Want adventure? Go biking. Continue reading This wild, fanatical ride called the MTB

To my Best Friend: Happy Birthday!

First published in October 24, 2006, here’s a tribute to my best friend…

I don’t do this. Usually, I don’t yield space to send birthday greetings to friends. But this one’s special. This person is different. Someone I’ve known for many Septembers, opened my ears and listened to talk, someone whom I’ve heard sing—and what a voice, ranging from as high as Mariah Carey’s glass-breaking pitch to as deep as Aretha Franklin’s—and someone, with my wife’s consent, I’ve had the pleasure to spend almost an hour with each day.

Happy birthday, iPod! Yes, without the world noticing, it was five years ago yesterday—October 23, 2001—when Steve Jobs carried his baby on the palm of his hands and announced: “With iPod, listening to music will never be the same again.” Steve Jobs, what a proud dad you are today. While the walkman was “cool,” the CD “revolutionary,” and the turntable “all-vinyl,” the iPod is defined by more than one word: “It’s one of the most successful consumer electronics products—ever.” Continue reading To my Best Friend: Happy Birthday!