Monthly Archives: September 2009

Dancing with Ed and Eleanor Hayco

Three nights ago, the Pacific Grand Ballroom of the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel glittered. Inside the vast hall tiptoed dancers. Sexy, long-legged, with nothing on their legs but four-inch-tall high heels, their backs stood erect, their smiles ear-to-ear, their poise and stature, exquisite.

They arrived in Cebu to compete. Bulgarians. Vietnamese. Russians. Hong Kongers. Slovenians. Germans. They came to showcase their curvaceous bodies. To wow the judges with their twists and bends and turns and spirals. Wearing sparkling silver or glowering gold or blazing blue, they boogied. Skipped. Whirled. They danced the Rumba, Jive, Chachacha, the Viennese Waltz and, my favorite because it elicited the most noise and frenzy, the Paso Doble.

Last Saturday evening, when participants from 15 nations joined the competition called the 4th Dancesport sa Sugbo and IDSF Dancesport Open, it was an eye-popping experience. When the competition started and the dance pairs were called to the giant wooden dancefloor that slept at the middle of the ballroom, I made sure to stay close. And so I sat on the carpet, just meters away. Continue reading Dancing with Ed and Eleanor Hayco

Singapore’s formula for a party? Formula 1

If you’ve ever been to The Lion City, this you’ll notice: There is more thrill and action at night than when the sun is out.

Consider the famous Clarke Quay. Located along the Singapore River, it houses five blocks of old warehouses that have been transformed into restaurants and nightclubs. Or the shopping street Orchard Road. With dozens of mega-malls ranging from Ngee Ann City (Takashimaya) to Paragon to the newly-opened Orchard Central, night-shopping is a Singapore must.

There’s the Merlion, a symbol of The Lion City, which glows when fully-lighted. Same when you visit Sentosa Island and watch the multitude of evening shows. Visiting this December? Perfect! Their streets glow with millions of shining Christmas lightbulbs. And, of course, there is the renowned Singapore Zoo where a plethora of tourists visit the Night Safari—the world’s first night zoo. Continue reading Singapore’s formula for a party? Formula 1

Will Obama-MJ-Oprah pitch for Chicago 2016?

They are three of the most famous individuals among the estimated 6,785,975,546 people who inhabit this planet today. Barack Hussein Obama. Oprah Gail Winfrey. Michael Jeffrey Jordan.

One is television’s biggest superstar. The other is a global sports icon who is arguably, despite his having retired from the NBA six years ago, the most celebrated athlete in the world. The third member of the trio? Simply put, he happens to be the most recognizable and powerful person on earth. Continue reading Will Obama-MJ-Oprah pitch for Chicago 2016?

Missing James Yap, Purefoods was unexciting

Vacationing in the paradise island of Hawaii with his wife Kris Aquino and children Baby James and Joshua, the former Most Valuable Player was absent in the PBA vs. Cebu basketball game last Monday night at the Cebu Coliseum.

James Carlos Yap, Sr.’s team, the Purefoods Tender Juicy Giants, was up against the Michel Lhuillier-owned M. Lhuillier Kwarta Padala-Cebu Niños. Having not watched a live PBA encounter in over a year, how did I find the ballgame?

Exciting. Unexciting. Continue reading Missing James Yap, Purefoods was unexciting

Jana wins Milo Little Olympics tennis gold

My 10-year-old daughter Jana won her first-ever tennis title last Saturday in the 14th Milo Little Olympics. Representing Bright Academy, she won her first singles match, 8-3, against Sheena Camporedondo, then teamed up with Stephanie Kim to beat the doubles pairing from the Banilad Elementary School. In all, they beat two teams the other weekend and won last Saturday. With her victory, Jana was also adjudged the Most Outstanding Athlete (MOA) in the entire elementary division for tennis in the Milo tournament. Congrats, Jan!!!

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Continue reading Jana wins Milo Little Olympics tennis gold

Cebu City Marathon And The Running Fever

There is a virus that’s plaguing our city. It’s not the A-H1N1 strain or the Dengue fever scare. It’s more widespread and thousands are afflicted. All types of bodies have been stricken: 73-year-olds, college girls, Sun.Star online editor Max Limpag, CEOs, doctors, Donna Cruz-Larrazabal, lawyers…

The good news is, this virus is healthy and invigorating. Running, it’s called, and, for the past three years, dozens upon hundreds upon thousands have bought New Balance shoes, worn Nike Dri-Fit wear, purchased Garmin GPS watches, laced Adidas Supernova soles, traveled to Singapore or Chicago or Hong Kong to pound their two God-given legs from Start to Finish Line. Continue reading Cebu City Marathon And The Running Fever

With Manny Pacqiuao, it’s not where, but how

Freddie Roach’s request was denied. He’d chosen Mexico as training ground and it’s been disapproved by The Boss. Does this matter? Will Pacman’s focus suffer? Given his decision to house himself up in The City of Pines, will he be less brutal come Nov. 14?

I’m not worried. Same with Manny. He’s not. We all shouldn’t be. The reason: It’s less the “where” than the “how.” Sure, there will be distractions. Sure, Manny will fly out of Baguio on some Saturday nights and do whatever he wants until Sunday dawn. Yet, to me, these are negligible.

What’s most essential is “how.” And, haven’t we seen it over and over again, how Manny, when he starts training, pours himself totally, tirelessly, with indefatigable effort? Continue reading With Manny Pacqiuao, it’s not where, but how

Bruce Lee in Boxing Shorts

He wore red, high-cut boots by Nike with the words “PACQUIAO” and “MANNY” etched at the back. His black shorts were printed with yellow flames. A gray sleeveless Nike shirt covered his chest while a green pair of gloves wrapped his hands.

Last Wednesday at 2:30 p.m., accompanied by the country’s top boxing writer—Salven Lagumbay of and the Philippine Daily Inquirer—I stepped inside RP’s most famous gym today, owned by Rex “Wakee” Salud.

Manny Pacquiao had just finished 10 rounds of sparring. Tired? Did he look fatigued? No. How about recharged? Or pumped-up? For one-and-a-half hours, I observed Manny. After sparring, Manny stepped down the ring then proceeded to pummel the double-end bag. He stared at the round leather that hung from the ceiling, encircled it, threw quick jabs, moved his head left, ducked, stepped back, forward. Continue reading Bruce Lee in Boxing Shorts

Frederic Chiongbian’s Ace

Congratulations to Frederic Chiongbian for scoring his first-ever hole-in-one last Tuesday at the 15th hole of the Cebu Country Club. After besting his flight-mates Toby Florendo, Gabriel Yap, Jr., Eric Deen and Jovi Neri with a birdie on Hole No. 14, Frederic, who’s played golf since he was 12 years old, next nailed the rare feat.

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Not contented with walking on the golf course, Frederic will run the Quezon City Intl. Marathon this Oct. 18. That will be his third 42K race after completing the Singapore and Hong Kong marathons.

Roger vs. Rafa: Who will win the US Open?

It’s the US Open! What’s my biggest tennis wish? That two 6-foot-1 Nike endorsers will meet in the finals. You see, every time Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal meet, it’s like a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight. It’s like the Lakers vs. Celtics, the Yankees vs. Red Sox, La Salle against Ateneo. It’s a blockbuster movie. Only this time, it’s not reel but for real.

My opinion? It won’t happen. Rafa was injured and out of the ATP Tour for two months. That’s like asking Charice Pempengco to tape her mouth for 12 months. She’ll rust. And, yes, Rafa is rusty. Mr. Federer? Ah, he’s far from dusty. Like a gleaming Rolex watch that he wears on his left wrist, the Swiss is glossy and sparkling. Continue reading Roger vs. Rafa: Who will win the US Open?

Baguio or Mexico? I’d listen to Coach Roach

Freddie with Atty. Jingo Quijano

The Phil Jackson of boxing, the three-time Trainer of the Year who’s trained Mike Tyson, Bernard Hopkins, Gerry Peñalosa and actor Mickey Rourke, is “pissed.” They treat me, he says, like “sh*#.”

His nickname, interestingly, is “Choir Boy” and, since he’s done a duet with the Greatest Filipino Sportsman Of All Time, they’ve produced perfect music together. Diaz. Marquez. Barrera. De La Hoya. Morales. Hatton. Name it, the Pacquaio-Roach one-two duet today is like the Phil Jackson-Michael Jordan duo of the 1990s. Continue reading Baguio or Mexico? I’d listen to Coach Roach