Monthly Archives: March 2010

Teenage badminton champ Janel Dihiansan

Janel (left) with her mom Janet

She is 15 years old. An incoming fourth year high schooler at the Sacred Heart-Jesuit, she maintains a Facebook account, relishes text messaging friends and listening to music with her Sony Ericsson phone, and she hangs-out in Ayala to watch movies.

Janel Dihiansan is your typical 15-year-old teenager. Yes? Not exactly. For while tens of thousands of other teeners are content to call Friday nights and whole-day-Saturdays as days reserved purely for 10-hour-sleeping and all-out-malling and video-gaming, Janet works on weekends. Works? On Fridays and Saturdays? Child labor? Ha-ha. His father, Ruel Dihiansan, my close buddy for many years now, can only laugh. For, if you consider sweating for hours and sprinting in circles around a rectangle court as work, then, yes, Janel works on weekends.

Badminton. That’s her job. And since Janel started working, she’s become an indefatigable champion. Study these accomplishments (which I had to trim down for lack of space)….

2006: Champion, elementary girls for both Milo Little Olympics and Cebu City Olympics.

2007: CVIRAA champion in Elementary Girls Singles; Palarong Pambansa, Champion in Girls Team; Milo Little Olympics champion in Secondary Girls Singles; Most Outstanding Athlete for Secondary Badminton.

2008: Milo Little Olympics champion in Secondary Girls Singles.

2009: CVIRAA champion in Secondary Girls Singles and Mixed Doubles.

2010: CVIRAA champion in Secondary Girls Singles. The list is long, outstanding, and the trophies will continue to pile up each year.

“When Janel was first year high school,” said her dad Ruel, “she was up against the defending champion who was in four year high school. The event was huge, the Milo Little Olympics. Janel won.”

Janel’s love for this “thin tennis racket game” began early. “When I was very little, my dad would teach me how to play badminton. Back then, I wasn’t interested,” she said. “But when I was nine years old, I suddenly told myself that I’d play after seeing my dad carrying his racket in our room. At first, I found it strange. But when started playing, I enjoyed it. I loved the feeling of sweating. I decided to play the sport because my parents are avid badminton players. Moreover, I wanted to follow what my dad loved doing the most.” Dad Ruel is, of course, a Class-A netter and many-time club champion who has played, on and off since 1978, for 20 years now.

I asked Janel, Why play? At an age when teenagers often want to be distanced away from their mom and dad (read: independence), Janel’s reply surprised me: “I chose badminton because my parents play badminton. Playing together is one way of spending time with my parents.”

Wow. I’m sure her dad Ruel and mom, Janet, are proud of their only child, who also happens to be a consistent member of the Honors Class.

Janel trains during weekends with coach Karl Sorronda, most often in Racquetzone at Montebello. “One must be passionate,” said Janel, on the qualities of a topnotch player. “If an athlete doesn’t love the sport, all the time spent for training is put to waste. An athlete will never improve if he/she doesn’t love what he/she is doing. A badminton player also has to be patient. There are times when we are physically, emotionally, or mentally drained. But we must learn how to fight that off.

“Confidence, for me, is the most important quality of any athlete. You must believe in yourself in order to perform extraordinarily. Humility is next to confidence. These two words may be contradictory but it’s important that an athlete be humble in victory and be gracious in defeat. It is not nice to look at an athlete who is constantly bragging about his achievements and putting down his opponents.”

Finally, I asked why badminton, compared to the dozens of other games, is best, she game an answer that teenagers would love to hear: “For me,” says Janel, “badminton is one of the best sports for the youth because we meet friends. It is a great way of building up camaraderie.”

Kenya’s Losiaboi vs. Cebu’s Lopez: the race is on

Soon after Simon Losiaboi arrived from Kenya last October, he was unbeatable. Race after Sunday morning after footrace, he won. Our local runners, who had never before experienced running  alongside a towering African, were tormented. They stood at the starting line aiming for second place. Engraved on the gold medal were the words “Simon Losiaboi.”

That all changed last weekend. Mendel Lopez, who was previously the Simon Losiaboi of Cebu before Simon Losiaboi arrived, joined the Ramon Magsaysay trek called “Paghandum Ni Magsaysay.” Beside Mendel, who had just arrived from Hong Kong and won third place in the 21K race, was his forever-nemesis, Simon. The gun blasted in Balamban. The runners sprinted not on flat asphalted road but on steep uphill terrain often littered with pebbles and dirt.

Guess what? Lopez beat Losiaboi. Taghap. Well, guess what: the following morning, last Sunday, the two stood beside each other again. They sprinted off; each with a different stride, both with the same goal: to finish No.1 in a lung-busting 8-km. climb to the foot of Tops in Busay in a race called “Run To The Clouds.”

Lopez beat Losiaboi. Again. Dili taghap. This is amazing. And thrilling. It’s like a movie we enjoyed so much that we can’t wait for Part 2. Which brings me to ask: Who’ll win in Part 2? Will Mendel, looking extremely lean when I saw him two weeks ago as our awardee during the 28th Cebu Sports Awards, with his renewed confidence, strive harder, run even faster, and continue to beat Simon?

Or was that a partial taghap. Since Mendel trained, in the weeks before last weekend, up hills and mountains to prepare for Hong Kong, was he better conditioned for the vertical climb? And when they return to flat ground, will he succumb to the silver medal?

Maybe not. Maybe. Or will Losiaboi, having tasted the sour taste of defeat, fight harder, train not twice but thrice daily, eat even less and become thinner than a bamboo pole, reclaim his gold? Abangan.

LTO

It’s sad but often true. When the term “Philippine government agency” is used, synonyms like “inefficient” and “corrupt” and “slow” are mentioned. Not my experience last Thursday morning during the renewal of my driver’s license at the SM City.

What an efficient system of the Land Transportation Office. (Three years back and having gone through the same noteworthy experience, I vowed, but failed, to write about my observations. So finally…)

I arrived early and was customer No. 7. Everything was methodical and organized. The front guard had the forms ready. The signages “Step 1, Step 2” etc. were visible. The staff were in a hurry (unlike other government agencies?). The physician in-charge of examination, Dr. Roy Abellana, was cordial and helpful. We even engaged in a chitchat, commenting that he knew my grandmother, Dr. Paulina “Bing” Pages.

The LTO office was clean, well-lighted, plus the location in SM is convenient. Technology was properly used: from the onsite card printer to the fingerprint scanner to several 32-inch LCD screens that showed children’s Christian movies. Best of all, the dreaded word “corruption” does not exist.

In all, from my arrival at 10:05 a.m. until I got my license, it took just 50 minutes. Amazing. (Here’s a tip: Line up early outside SM then, when the doors open, sprint to their office.) Kudos to the LTO.

Casino Español de Cebu

NONOY ALBA is the new president of the Casino Español. During the annual Voters’ Meeting two nights ago at Cebu’s prestigious “Spanish House” along V. Ranudo St., Jose Luis “Nonoy” Alba was chosen to lead the club that’s celebrating its 90th year. The other members of the new Board of Directors include Manny Sainz (VP), Gabby Leyson (Secretary), Rene Kintanar (Treasurer), Buddy Veloso (House Chairman), Boy Limkakeng (Cultural Affairs Director) and Rico Gandionco (Sports Director). Felicidades!

Dolly Tan writes about Canada

Erlinda Dolly Tan lived in Cebu from 2003 to 2008, worked at the GSIS, but is now residing in British Columbia. British Columbia? If the name sounds familiar that’s because the Winter Olympics, which ran from Feb. 12 to 28, was held in Vancouver, British Columbia. Dolly emailed me three weeks back with her observations which she entitled, “Watching the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics… And How It Reminds Me Of My Country.”

While admitting that the “Snow” Games are not popular in RP, she says we can learn from Canada. “When Vancouver was awarded to host the Olympics in 2003,” wrote Dolly, “it immediately created a 5-year program called ‘Own The Podium’ (OTP). The purpose was to develop and train athletes with the ultimate goal to top the medal tally.

“The program included trainings for coaches, leaders and athletes. It took care of the athletes’ nutrition, psychological condition and well being. They were sent to international games to prepare them for top level competition conditions.”

The OTP budget, said Dolly, was a huge $110 million and this did not escape criticisms. (Half came from taxpayers, half from sponsors.) Still, despite the negative response, Canada pushed ahead. The program worked.

“Canada made history by winning 14 gold medals, the most ever for a host nation. In the over-all tally, USA was first, Germany second and Canada third. But this doesn’t diminish the OTP program’s success with every Canadian believing that they still own the best part of the podium, the gold.

“As Canada closed the Olympics curtain, I can’t help but think about my beloved country 10,000 kilometers away. Too unrealistic to create a similar program? Yes but I was hoping our government would give more priority and would increase the budget for sports.

“We produced Paeng Nepomuceno, Bata Reyes and Eric Buhain; there is no reason why we cannot produce more world class athletes. And how about Manny Pacquiao as proof? But our athletes cannot do it by themselves, the government has a major role to play.”

Why sports? “Sports is an alternative way of life,” said Dolly. “It develops strict discipline for our children, it stimulates dreams, it stirs up patriotism. For every gold medal won, hundreds of dreams are born. For every gold medal won, hundreds of children are inspired. They get up, dribble, shoot. Sports is one way of keeping them away from drugs.

“I witnessed in Canada how sports became nation-building. Vancouver was a world stage for 17 days and more than 3.5 billion people viewed some part of the games both on TV and the internet.. this includes 185 million Americans, more than half of the US population. What they saw was Vancouver with polite people who never ran out of greetings… Thank You, You’re Welcome, and Have A Nice Day. They saw the essence of a 21st century Canada, a post 9/11 world of a peaceful multi-cultural people that includes 400,000 Filipinos. Tourism is expected to boom in Vancouver in the coming years.

“I witnessed how hockey, a game that originated in Canada, produced a People Power on the final day of Olympics when Canada and US battled for the gold in a nail-biting 3-period thriller. Right after the emotional win of Canada, a celebration of national pride erupted.

“There was people power in big cities. The downtowns of Vancouver and Toronto were flooded with people, all proud to be Canadians. Flags were raised coast to coast. This nation who doesn’t use the car horn… honked for victory! People sang the national anthem inside the train, bus, malls…

“Unbelievable. But as they say here, children skate before they can walk, they learn hockey prior to arithmetic. But it’s not about hockey, per se. It’s how they take care of their athletes—and end up winning 14 golds.

“Our Filipino athletes are there, waiting to be discovered and trained. They could be playing basketball or doing boxing. But without government support, they will remain pots of gold sitting in our backyards.”

From Cebu to Dallas, Sarah is MP’s No.1 fan

Sarah Monique Ching had never before watched Manny Pacquiao. Not in person, not on TV, not even via a YouTube replay. But that all changed last weekend when Sarah, a freshman on full scholarship studying Economics and Finance at the University of Texas in Dallas, saw Pacman three times: at the open workout, the weigh-in and on the fight night of March 13. Last Thursday, I featured Sarah’s story. Here’s Part 2:


Just a week ago, I didn’t know a thing about boxing and neither did I care for it. On Saturday, it was the only thing on my mind. My uncle picked me up from school and together we went to the Dallas Cowboys Stadium. It’d be the second time I was going to see the architectural marvel, as well as the second time I’d get lost driving there. When we arrived, the streets around the stadium were packed with cars. There were only a few in our designated parking lot so it was a breeze to park. Getting in was a bit of a problem though.  The stadium is so large it has 10 entrances. We were three or four entrances away from the club entrance we were assigned. Security was very lax, though, and I was able to get drinks in. Once I stepped inside, it was fantastically surreal. I didn’t know where to start gawking. The stadium seemed even more colossal from inside. But, I was eager to get to my seat. I had bought tickets for the Club 200 level. The sight lines to the ring were amazing. I looked up and saw the world’s largest HDTV measuring 72 feet tall and 160 feet wide suspended above the ring. The ring and the big screen were in front of me dead center. Oh yeah. Everything was big in Texas. All I could do was sit and take it all in.

I had the Green Chile Kobe Burger that cost $13. Beer cost $8 a bottle, peanuts were $5, and water was $5. I didn’t have the $60 pizza. Sit back and enjoy the show. The undercard bouts had already begun. After many quick bouts, it was obvious that the crowd was losing interest. One of the more exciting bouts was Soto-Diaz. But even then, the crowd started a wave and it went on for quite a few rounds. Every time Pacquiao’s face appeared on the big screen in between rounds, the crowd would suddenly come alive. Everyone came to watch just one fight.

It felt as if everyone was for Pacquiao. There was going to be no question about who was going to win, only in which round Pacquiao would KO Clottey. Fans wore Philippine flags as capes; others were dressed in all-Pacquiao apparel.

At 8:22 p.m. Soto was declared the winner, there was a sudden change in the atmosphere. The Philippine and Ghanaian flags made their way to the ring. The previous day’s event replayed on the big screen and the fans cheered loud. Arnel Pineda of Journey sang the Philippine National Anthem. I realized it was the first time I had heard it in almost a year. The people continued shouting with pride. The stadium was charged with unbridled excitement and energy.

It was time. Clottey entered the ring and was met by loud cheers. But when, Pacquiao made his grand entrance, it was sensory overload. We welcomed him on our feet, cheering at the top of our lungs, fists pumping air.

The first round began and I sat at the edge of the seat waiting to see the two fighters slug it out. No instant action, instead they were both cautiously gauging each other. Clearly, Pacquiao was the aggressor. He put on display once again his amazing quickness. Meanwhile, Clottey remained in his shell. The early rounds went in the same manner. Clottey didn’t open up while Pacquiao kept attacking with a flurry of punches. Clottey did land some hard ones, but it became obvious that the match was one-sided, even to someone who didn’t know much about boxing. It got a little repetitive, and the highlight was in Round 4 when Pacquiao gave Clottey a double-handed punch. Was frustration beginning to set in?

Halfway through, Pacquiao probably realized that Clottey wasn’t coming out. So did I. He dished out exciting combinations for the fans. It wasn’t until the very last rounds that Clottey looked as if he was actually fighting. In Round 11, he got an uppercut in but that didn’t seem to bother Manny. The crowd was up on its feet by the final round. I was still hoping for a knockout. Pacquiao ended the fight with a barrage of punches. BOOM! The entire stadium exploded, louder than ever, as Pacquiao emerged victorious with a unanimous decision.

At the end of fight night, my voice hoarse and shoulders sore from cheering, I went to bed, heart still racing with excitement. I may have never seen Pacquiao fight before, but hey, I get to say that the first time was live together with 51,000 fans in the 8th Wonder of the World. It wasn’t the greatest fight, but it was one heck of a show. National Fist, the fighting pride of the Philippines. I didn’t know what that meant. That night, I not only knew it, I felt it. I witnessed a legend, and he’s made a believer out of me. I was in the same room with him, thrice even. I breathed the same air he breathed. And maybe, just maybe, his sweat nilagput nako.

From Cebu to Dallas, Sarah is MP’s No.1 fan

Sarah Monique Ching had never before watched Manny Pacquiao. Not in person, not on TV, not even via a YouTube replay. But that all changed last weekend when Sarah, a freshman on full scholarship studying Economics and Finance at the University of Texas in Dallas, saw Pacman three times: at the open workout, the weigh-in and on the fight night of March 13. Last Thursday, I featured Sarah’s story. Here’s Part 2:


Just a week ago, I didn’t know a thing about boxing and neither did I care for it. On Saturday, it was the only thing on my mind. My uncle picked me up from school and together we went to the Dallas Cowboys Stadium. It’d be the second time I was going to see the architectural marvel, as well as the second time I’d get lost driving there. When we arrived, the streets around the stadium were packed with cars. There were only a few in our designated parking lot so it was a breeze to park. Getting in was a bit of a problem though.  The stadium is so large it has 10 entrances. We were three or four entrances away from the club entrance we were assigned. Security was very lax, though, and I was able to get drinks in. Once I stepped inside, it was fantastically surreal. I didn’t know where to start gawking. The stadium seemed even more colossal from inside. But, I was eager to get to my seat. I had bought tickets for the Club 200 level. The sight lines to the ring were amazing. I looked up and saw the world’s largest HDTV measuring 72 feet tall and 160 feet wide suspended above the ring. The ring and the big screen were in front of me dead center. Oh yeah. Everything was big in Texas. All I could do was sit and take it all in.

I had the Green Chile Kobe Burger that cost $13. Beer cost $8 a bottle, peanuts were $5, and water was $5. I didn’t have the $60 pizza. Sit back and enjoy the show. The undercard bouts had already begun. After many quick bouts, it was obvious that the crowd was losing interest. One of the more exciting bouts was Soto-Diaz. But even then, the crowd started a wave and it went on for quite a few rounds. Every time Pacquiao’s face appeared on the big screen in between rounds, the crowd would suddenly come alive. Everyone came to watch just one fight.

It felt as if everyone was for Pacquiao. There was going to be no question about who was going to win, only in which round Pacquiao would KO Clottey. Fans wore Philippine flags as capes; others were dressed in all-Pacquiao apparel.

At 8:22 p.m. Soto was declared the winner, there was a sudden change in the atmosphere. The Philippine and Ghanaian flags made their way to the ring. The previous day’s event replayed on the big screen and the fans cheered loud. Arnel Pineda of Journey sang the Philippine National Anthem. I realized it was the first time I had heard it in almost a year. The people continued shouting with pride. The stadium was charged with unbridled excitement and energy.

It was time. Clottey entered the ring and was met by loud cheers. But when, Pacquiao made his grand entrance, it was sensory overload. We welcomed him on our feet, cheering at the top of our lungs, fists pumping air.

The first round began and I sat at the edge of the seat waiting to see the two fighters slug it out. No instant action, instead they were both cautiously gauging each other. Clearly, Pacquiao was the aggressor. He put on display once again his amazing quickness. Meanwhile, Clottey remained in his shell. The early rounds went in the same manner. Clottey didn’t open up while Pacquiao kept attacking with a flurry of punches. Clottey did land some hard ones, but it became obvious that the match was one-sided, even to someone who didn’t know much about boxing. It got a little repetitive, and the highlight was in Round 4 when Pacquiao gave Clottey a double-handed punch. Was frustration beginning to set in?

Halfway through, Pacquiao probably realized that Clottey wasn’t coming out. So did I. He dished out exciting combinations for the fans. It wasn’t until the very last rounds that Clottey looked as if he was actually fighting. In Round 11, he got an uppercut in but that didn’t seem to bother Manny. The crowd was up on its feet by the final round. I was still hoping for a knockout. Pacquiao ended the fight with a barrage of punches. BOOM! The entire stadium exploded, louder than ever, as Pacquiao emerged victorious with a unanimous decision.

At the end of fight night, my voice hoarse and shoulders sore from cheering, I went to bed, heart still racing with excitement. I may have never seen Pacquiao fight before, but hey, I get to say that the first time was live together with 51,000 fans in the 8th Wonder of the World. It wasn’t the greatest fight, but it was one heck of a show. National Fist, the fighting pride of the Philippines. I didn’t know what that meant. That night, I not only knew it, I felt it. I witnessed a legend, and he’s made a believer out of me. I was in the same room with him, thrice even. I breathed the same air he breathed. And maybe, just maybe, his sweat nilagput nako.

Sarah Ching and her Pacman Experience in Dallas

Andrew Ching is the past president of our Rotary Club of Cebu West. For years now, I see him each Tuesday night during our meeting. A few weeks back, Andrew told me that his daughter, Sarah Monique, is studying in Dallas and hopes to watch the Pacquiao-Clottey fight. After an exchange of emails, here’s the first-hand account of Sarah, who graduated valedictorian at CIE last year and is now on a full scholarship with the University of Texas pursuing a double major in Economics and Finance. She calls her story, The PacMan Experience.


Since January 11, my dad has been telling me to buy tickets for The Event. My reply: “Samok. Who cares?” After a month of nagging, I finally relented and looked for tickets online. Prices had skyrocketed since the release! Floor seats were selling for $4,000 at some websites. The official seller, ticketmaster.com, was still cheaper selling at the base price. All the $50 seats had sold out. I ended up buying the $200 ticket. Oh yeah, parking cost $50. Not to mention the “convenience fees” thrown in the mix. Basketball I can understand, but boxing?

I wasn’t the least bit excited. I’ve never watched Pacquiao fight, live or on TV. Nope, not even on replay. The extent of my boxing knowledge was watching dad play Fight Night 3 on PS3. Fight week rolled around and my dad told me to go watch the open workout. I heard Pacquiao flew into Dallas in style: a chartered plane with 160 people. This piqued my interest, so I looked up the pre-fight events. It was March 8, and the workout was going to be the next day at the Gaylord Texan Resort. I debated for hours with myself. Should I go? Probably just a waste of time.

Tuesday morning came and I still hadn’t decided whether to go or not. The hotel was an hour away, about 20 miles. Plus, at around noontime traffic would be denser. As I sat in calc class listening to my professor go on and on about multivariate calculus, I thought about how excited my dad was. Of all the places, they picked Dallas. This was a chance I’m never going to get again. I decided right there and then that I would go, no matter what.

VROOM VROOM. I got out of class, jumped into my car, and drove 20 miles expertly weaving (yeah right) through traffic to get there in time. I felt like I was in a Hollywood high-speed car chase. I got there in time only to spend 15 minutes looking for a parking space. At the entrance, an attendant saw my harried face and asked, with a smile, “Pacquiao?” I nodded. He gave me directions that went something like this, “take the first right, go straight, turn left… blah, blah, blah… see a hallway with a lot of people.” Thank you sir. I followed the noise and found a very long hallway and a very long line. I was at the very end of a line of more than 1,000 people. Could I get in? I’ll never get good pictures. Will I even get to see him? I should’ve just stayed in school.

The doors opened and the mob rushed in. I was stuck in the back, and the fact that I’m short wasn’t helping. Somehow, I managed to squeeze myself into the very front. Perfect view! The makeshift gym was buzzing with excitement as the rowdy crowd awaited Manny Pacquiao. The media people were just as excited to be there. Among the reporters were Dyan Castillejo of ABS-CBN and Chino Trinidad of GMA.

Pacquiao, accompanied by a throng of his people, finally entered the gym and was greeted by the cheering crowd. In the ring with Pac Man doing promotions were Jerry Jones, Bob Arum, and Michael Irvin, who playfully put his fist on the fighter’s jaw. While Manny was getting ready to work out, Jerry Jones came over to the crowd. People clamored for photos and autographs from the owner of the $1.2 billion Cowboys Stadium.

It was a long, good wait before the music started pumping and Manny started shadow boxing. Pacquiao showed off to the 1,000-plus fans present by firing his weapons of mass destruction at an invisible opponent. Poor invisible guy. Pac Man donned his green Everlast gloves and Freddie Roach entered the ring in full gear. Roach wore a Wild Card Gym body protector and hand pads. Pacquiao started out lightly. He progressively hit harder and faster. His fists pounded Roach mercilessly, and I found myself fearing for his life. So precise was his aim though, both at head and body, that I would feel safe if it was me up there. Of course, a fight would be a different story.

After about an hour thirty of sweating and slamming punch after punch into his trainer, he called it a day. He took a break to change before talking to the media. The fans (me included) hopefully waited for Pacquiao to come over and grace us with the charming Pacquiao smile.

He did. Fans pummeled each other just to get a good close look at The People’s Champ. When he started signing autographs, oh my… I’ve got the bruises to prove it. Unfortunately, when he stopped at me, I didn’t bring anything for him to sign. To top it off, people behind were clawing at whatever obstacle stood in between them and Pacquiao. Being short really sucks. So he stopped in front of me and then it was over and his bodyguards whisked him away. That’s OK though, since I caught his famous smile.

Sarah with Buboy Fernandez

Pacquiao stunned even a boxing ignoramus like me with his lightning-fast hand speed and powerful punches, and most especially his disarming, almost goofy smile. If he was a beast in the media workout, what’ll he be on fight night?

I couldn’t wait to go to the weigh-in on Friday. The Cowboys Stadium was about an hour away and the official weigh-in would last for about 15 minutes. But hey, I wanted to show my support. For the next two days I slaved over the perfect signboard. Come Friday, I finished up and drove. I expected to get there 2 hours early to avoid the crowd like last time. Well, to make a long getting-lost adventure story short, I got there barely an hour before the weigh-in.

It wasn’t difficult locating the Cowboys Stadium. A magnificent domed building gleamed in the rays of the setting sun, beckoning to me. I found my way to the stage and was greeted by the sight of a huge crowd waiting to see Pacquiao on the scale. I guess I wasn’t early enough. The weigh-in was outside East Plaza, so I wouldn’t be able to see the inside just yet. And then suddenly the wall split open and revealed the inside! That just freaked me out. We could see part of the interior and it was huge!

Present were Robert Duvall, Darren Woodson, Marco Antonio Barrera, and our very own Gerry Peñalosa, among others. Michael Buffer’s voice boomed over the speakers. The crowd waited in anticipation for the Pacquiao and Clottey to step onto the scales.

With Gerry Peñalosa

Clottey was introduced but only got a few cheers; even then, a group of Filipinos said they only cheered for him because they felt sorry (I have this on tape). Pacquiao, however, got on stage and the crowd erupted. I waved my sign high and we all chanted, “Man-ny, Man-ny, Man-ny!”

Clottey weighed in at exactly 147 pounds and Pacquiao at 145 ¾ pounds. Clottey was also significantly taller. It seemed like he was more powerful. He even looked meaner. The face-off lasted a few seconds; a smile broke out on PacMan’s face and the two fighters burst into laughter. I’ve never seen Pacquiao fight, much less a weigh-in so I was surprised at how down-to-earth he was. It felt so natural to connect with him; so great and yet so humble. No wonder he’s hailed as the national hero.

Manny’s money climbs to P2.4B… Now you know!

THE EVENT was The Non-Event. It was the most boring fight we’ve seen of the earth’s most thrilling boxer. But it wasn’t Manny’s fault. He tried. On the 12th round. On Round 8. On the first 180 seconds. He even attempted the highlight of the fight in Round 4 when, exasperated, Manny did the “double punch,” throwing twin shots to Joshua Clottey’s head.

That was fun. The rest was sad. Because sadly, Clottey was a dud. He was a loser. A debacle. He clammed like a shell, covered himself with a black shield, and was a mere target practice. Bobby Nalzaro defined it best: JC was a punching bag.

Sad. Way lami. But here’s the good news: this was a “freebie” for Manny. He didn’t get hurt. He’ll pocket $12 million. He sang “La Bamba” an hour after he left the stadium. He preserved his honor as a mini Mike Tyson and reinforced his stature as boxing’s Roger Federer. Nobody blamed MP for the fiasco. Best of all, he’s won his part of the semi-final round, ready to face Mr. Mayweather in “The Finals” come September.

Still, after we had gotten accustomed to Pacquiao’s past—him bloodying Diaz, shocking De La Hoya, bludgeoning Hatton, and transforming Cotto into a coward when the Puerto Rican ran circles around the square ring—we missed the same Las Vegas fireworks.

As for me, instead of witnessing a boxing thrilla to salivate my boxing appetite, I whetted my appetite for food. Thanks to our hosts last Sunday, Rotary’s past district governor Ray Patuasi and his wife Letty, who served lechon, scallops, humba, fried chicken, kinilaw, carbonara pasta, saang shell—so much food the buffet table could have served the 50,994 in Cowboys Stadium. With us were doctors Ron Eullaran and Ronnie Medalle, Raycia Eullaran, Ciara Patuasi, Joey Ontanillas, Miguel and Kaye Larrauri, and Nikki and Jorge Romea.

Back to Joshua Clottey: at least he achieved a distinction that his predecessors could not: he survived, blood-less, to smile during the post-fight interview. He preserved his “I’ve-never-been-KO’ed” mantra. He’ll go home to the Bronx, where he now resides, or to Ghana, $2 million richer.

As for Manny’s money? His piggy bank has been fattened. He was promised a purse of $12 million, excluding the PPV revenue. This means one thing: MP is super Richie Rich rich. From one who earned P1,000 in his first bout 15 years ago, he pocketed $15 million with De La Hoya, and $13 million each from Hatton and Cotto. Adding the $12 million for sleeping past Clottey 48 hours ago, that’s a monstrous total of $53 million or, in pesos, P2,438,000,000.

I computed the exact number of minutes and seconds MP spent annihilating his past four opponents—ODLH (24 minutes), Hatton (5:59), Cotto (35:05), Clottey (36)—and here’s the answer: In his last four fights, Pacquiao earned P402,044 per second. I’m willing to bet my Labrador named Joshua that no other athlete has earned so much in so few minutes.

Which brings me to the sad part. Because for all of Manny’s money, and all the 12 victories in as many encounters, he will lose. On May 10, 2010, on the second fight of his political career and now sporting a 0-1 scorecard, he will lose. At least that’s the feedback I got from taxi drivers, KCC mall employees and the ordinary folks I interviewed while at General Santos City 10 days ago.

Funny, no? Manny is the No.1 Filipino among the 6.8 billion earthlings of this planet. Yet, despite his popularity and winnings, he’s a loser. In politics, he loses. Worse, in showbiz, even if he trumpeted the “affair” with Krista Ranillo to bolster “Wapakman,” the movie suffered a knockout. Same with “Anak ng Kumander” with Ara Mina in 2008. In both films, money was lost. Manny lost. Funny? Not so. For we want our boxing hero to continue doing what he does best—not in showbiz or in the political ring—but inside the boxing ring.

This shows the intelligence of the Filipino. I hope our hero listens.

In fight of his life, Z took a stand

(Photo by Kenneth Casquejo)

Something unusual happened last Thursday. A scene, as described by Mike Limpag, my sports editor, like the ones we watch in Hollywood movies. Only this was better for it wasn’t a reel story… but a real story. It was unscripted, dramatic, spontaneous.

It’s about one man who wasn’t supposed to survive, a knock-out artist who was knocked unconscious last Nov. 13, a patient whose trauma was so severe he incurred hospital bills totaling P25,000,000, a boxer destined to be world champion but instead turned into a champion of life.

Z Gorres, around 9 p.m. three nights ago, stunned the 200 people inside the ballroom of the Casino Español. When his name was called by Rico Navarro, the emcee, as the Presidential Awardee of the 28th Cebu Sports Awards, Z moved. Not to roll the wheels of his wheelchair forward.

He stood up. Everybody gasped. Pushing himself up from his wheelchair and aided by the loving arm of his wife, Datches, he stepped forward. One foot in front of another, his legs quivered. The athlete/awardees cheered like they were spectators. Everybody had goosebumps. We snapped photos. Sabah Fadai, the mixed martial arts champion, cried. Some of the toughest of athletes’ eyes swelled with tears.

“In the 21 years that I have been part of the event,” wrote Nimrod Quiñones, The Freeman’s managing editor. “I’ve never been as moved as the other night when Z ‘The Dream’ Gorres stood up from his wheelchair to receive the Presidential Award given to him by the SAC.”

Nimrod is right. It was the most emotional scene I’ve witnessed of these awards, even more powerful than last year, when Manny Pacquiao joined us in the 2009 edition of the Cebu Sports Awards.

Z Gorres’ courageous act, not to be handed the award but to accept it himself, was that most unforgettable moment. Nobody asked Z to stand. It was his decision. The reason? He wanted to show an example to his fellow athletes what it means to be a fighter. That despite the pain, the difficulty, the suffering of walking, he was telling all… I’m going to stand up and walk to receive my award. What a moment. What a lesson.

What happened next was just as inspiring. Antonio Lopez Aldeguer, our guest of honor, stood on the stage minutes after witnessing the deluge of sympathy and love surrounding his boxer and, in dark black suit that enveloped his broad wide shoulders, said, “I have a five-page long speech that I prepared the past two days and I will disregard this after what I saw. I am here to give an inspirational talk… but what more can I say to inspire you… than what you have seen a while ago?”

ALA was correct. The sight of Z rising and struggling to walk and receive his award was more powerful a message than any words. As Mike Limpag wrote yesterday, “Z GORRES never said a word… but what he did will be remembered, forever.”

Caecent No-ot-Magsumbol, another SAC colleague who writes for The Freeman, summed it up best with her words yesterday: “From A to Z – as in from Aldeguer to Z Gorres – all those who attended the memorable night went home not only with awards, happy thoughts and memories but also learned a valuable lesson in life…

“Z may no longer be able to fight again, but he has already gained a championship belt. No one can take it away from him for he is a champion in life, a living proof on how great an athlete and person he is which the rest of the athletes should emulate.”

From Amit to Z, tonight the superstars shine

March 11, 2010 is the night. That’s tonight. For tonight is the moment. It’s those three hours this evening when fireworks will erupt indoors, cheers will deafen the ballroom, when Z Gorres will receive a standing ovation, when the late volleyball guru Eugene de la Cerna will be honored, when Irina Gabasa will shake hands with Noy Jopson, who’ll greet Rubilen Amit, who’ll smile before world champ Donnie Nietes.

Tonight. It’s that once-every-365-days evening when the top athletes from our Visayan land celebrate. When the Queen City of the South honors kings and princes and princesses of sports.

Tonight, plenty will stand proud. I’ve seen mothers who’ve shed tears, grandfathers who’ve cried as they stepped on-stage to receive the award in behalf of their apo, I’ve witnessed the 7-footer Greg Slaughter tower above his fellow awardee Manny Pacquiao.

Tonight. It’s special. Because, when your name is chosen for the SAC-SMB Cebu Sports Awards, you are special. Few excel in sports. Fewer get picked as awardees.

Tonight is the night to meet David Lim of autocross, Lorhiz Echavez of triathlon, Jon-Jon Adlawan of motocross, Tonyo Carcel and Jette Calderon of go-kart racing. It’s the evening to meet the awardees who get a kick out of the World Cup in South Africa: footballers Paolo Pascual, Oliver Colina, the Abellana National School, Carmelo Genco, Glenn Ramos, Christian Noel.

Tonight. It’s unforgettable. I say that in advance knowing that, in the dozens of years that I’ve attended these gatherings, back in 1988 when I was one of the awardees for junior tennis, each year is meaningful. I’ll never forget the late Maning Oyson, one of the founders of SAC, who owned a giant personality despite his small size. I’ll never forget Dondon Hontiveros, our speaker two years ago, or Butch Ramirez, one of the friendliest of PSC chairmen, or Michel Lhuillier, many times a Sportsman of the Year.

Tonight is the night. It’s the evening to salute Buchoy. Boxing’s world-champion-in-waiting, he succumbed to a near-death experience. Yet, he survived and, above all, emerged as the world champion of life. For his bravery, his spirit, his willpower and his instincts of survival, Z Gorres will shine, tonight, as an inspiration to his co-awardees. They’ll pose for photos with him, shake his right hand and find that his grip is firm, they’ll applaud Z.

Tonight. We honor the mastermind of the Guinness World Record “7,770” dance production, Edward Hayco.

Tonight is also the occasion to applaud your sportswriters. The women and men who press their fingers against the computer keyboard each afternoon to provide you with stories that amuse, excite and provoke. Tonight is that moment when the reporters, often popular by name but whose faces remain unknown, will take center-stage.

Tonight is the time to thank San Miguel Corporation and Girlie Garces, one of the conglomerate’s top executives, for their year-in, year-out help. Because without SMC and San Miguel Beer, there’ll be no Cebu Sports Awards. The giant company that cultivates Philippine sports is the giant financier for tonight.

ALA? Yes. Tonight, for many minutes, my eyes and ears and all senses will be glued to one man as he speaks and inspires. Our guest speaker, Antonio Lopez Aldeguer, who was born in Iloilo, raised in Bacolod, resided in Cebu, and who has bred world boxing champions, will share with us his universe of wisdom and sports acumen.

Tonight. It’s the evening when you’ll see faces all-smiling. For tonight’s a celebration, a party, a gathering of Smiling People. Fathers will smile. Mary Grace de los Santos, our almost-unbeatable runner, will grin an earful when she receives the trophy from running diehards Max Limpag, Haide Acuña, Raffy Uytiepo. So will Dr. Yong Larrazabal and Jesse Taborada of CERC when they accept plaques for their contribution to popularize running as Cebu’s No.1 recreational sport today.

Today, tonight, what an evening for Cebu.

The Difference between ‘Ordinary’ and ‘Extraordinary’

This article was written two years ago, last March 13, 2008…

Don-Don Hontiveros was scared. Uneasy. Anxious. His hand was cold. He had been in dozens of pressure-packed moments before—like standing on the free-throw line with 0.7 seconds left on the shot clock and needing to shoot both baskets to reach OT—but this was different.

He was standing before a crowd—like he usually did before 12,000 screaming PBA fans—only this time, he was onstage and, instead of gripping an orange basketball, he was holding a black microphone.

Gi kuyawan ko (I’m scared),” Don-Don started off, grinning shyly, as he faced the over 150 athletes, honorees, parents, coaches and sportswriters that trooped to attend last Saturday night’s 26th SAC-SMC All-Cebu Sports Awards.

Don-Don admitted that he wasn’t used to speaking in front of audiences—and, in particular, talking in front of a Who’s-Who list of sportsmen that included, among many, the Philippine Sports Commission Chairman William “Butch” Ramirez, world boxing champ Donnie Nietes, former champ Dodie Boy Peñalosa, Felix Tiukinhoy, Ricky Ballesteros, Boom-Boom Bautista, Michael Aldeguer and AJ Banal.

Don-Don (left most) with Dodie Boy Peñalosa Jr., Dodie Boy Peñalosa Sr., Donnie Nietes, Boom-Boom Bautista, Z Gorres, AJ Banal, Edito Villamor, Michael Domingo and PSC Chairman Butch Ramirez

But as Don-Don continued to speak, mixing English with Cebuano, he spoke from the heart. He talked of his love for basketball. He mentioned his short height (4’11”) when he started and how his coaches and teammates told him he’d never make it to his dream, the PBA.

He didn’t listen to them. He believed. In himself. He took those words not as insults but as a challenge. And, most important of all, he never, ever let go of his dream.

“I wasn’t born as an exceptional athlete,” he said. “But I practiced harder than everybody else.” When he was a star at the Cebu Gems and opted to join the San Miguel Beermen in the PBA, critics lambasted him for his decision, saying, “You’re an MBA star here! You’re a big fish in a small pond here! Why go to the PBA where you’ll be a small fish in the large ocean?”

He thought hard. Listened. But his heart knew that his dream was to be in the Philippine Basketball Association. And, deep inside, he believed in himself. He believed that he wouldn’t be this “small fish” swimming in a “large ocean.”

Belief. That’s what Don-Don taught me that evening. All champions possess it: Tiger. MJ. LeBron. Roger. Pacquiao.

Unbowed by the criticisms hurled his way, Don-Don Hontiveros jumped and dove into the ocean of the PBA superstars….

Now, years later, we know what happened. A gold fish swimming in the Pacific Ocean? Nah. Don-Don has transformed into a large whale—one of the Philippines’ top basketball stars.

Don-Don continued speaking….. More words struck the audience. But, to me, this was best: When he asked the crowd, “You know the difference between ‘ordinary’ and ‘extraordinary?’”

The crowd stood still. Nobody moved. All ears opened.

“It’s the word ‘EXTRA,’” he said.

I glanced at Michael Domingo and Z Gorres and Boy Cabahug and Jacob Lagman and Irina Gabasa and could see from their faces that, yes, that word—extra—is what makes champions… Champions.

All-Cebu Sports Awards Photos

These photos first appeared last March 13, 2008….

The UV Green Lancers (on stage) with (from left) CDN’s Jonas Panerio and coaches Boy Cabahug and Al Solis

Mary Stephanie Agbay, one of the top awardees for Wushu

Girlie Garces of San Miguel Corporation

Felix Tiukinhoy (right), the Presidential Award recipient, receiving his award from outgoing SAC President (and CDN Sports Editor) Rick Gabuya

Ricky Ballesteros (center), the Sportsman of the Year, with (from left) Manny Villaruel (The Freeman Sports Editor), Girlie Garces, Rick Gabuya and Mike Limpag (Sun.Star Cebu Sports Editor)

Manfred Schuwerk (far right), the Orlacsan Awardee, with Rick Gabuya and Girlie Garces

PSC Chairman Butch Ramirez (far right) inducting the new set of SAC officers (from left): John Pages, Jun Migallen, Marian Baring, Caecent No-ot Magsumbol, Manny Villaruel and Mike Limpag

All-smiles, All winners….

Looking Down At The Stars, What A View

This article came out on March 11, 2008….

One of my favorite parties each year is the All-Cebu Sports Awards. For where can you gather, under one restaurant roof, sitting side-by-side, mingling, posing for photos, swapping autographs, beaming with earful grins, exchanging stories, laughing, parents crying of joy, world boxing champions in sight, gymnasts and footballers talking, everybody proud, all standing on Cloud 10, the best athletes in Cebu?

It only happens once. Each year. At the All-Cebu Sports Awards.

Last Saturday night, it wasn’t the first All-Cebu Sports Awards. It’s wasn’t the second, 12th or 22nd. It was the 26th year when your very own sports scribes—the Sportswriters Association of Cebu (SAC)—honor the year’s top sports figures.

Let me say this: I am fortunate. Lucky. Honored. Not only was I bestowed the title of ‘President’ of the SAC for this year but, more important, I stood as emcee for the night. What did that mean? That meant that when I stood on that podium for the entire evening, I had an unparalleled vantage point of all of Cebu’s winners……

To my left sat giants. They wore XXXL-size jackets, 14-size Nike shoes, and they gorged on the Laguna Garden Cafe buffet like starved men. The 7-time CESAFI champions, undefeated since the annual collegiate games started, sat on a round table. Led by coaches Boy Cabahug and Al Solis, they’re the University of the Visayas basketball team.

At the very back sat Niño Surban. On a pair of two wheels named the bicycle, nobody in Cebu is faster. Standing almost 6-feet-tall, Niño is Cebu’s Lance Armstrong.

Don-Don Hontiveros with Niño Surban

Down the center table sat Jess and Julie Lagman. Of all the sports parents in Cebu, I admire the Lagmans most. God-loving, sport-loving and children-loving, no wonder Julian, Julius, Jessica and Jacob (one of RP’s top juniors) are tops in tennis—thanks to their dad and mom.

From left: Don-Don, Jess Lagman, Julie Lagman, Jacob Lagman, PSC Chairman Butch Ramirez

Wushu. Heard of wushu before? I have but never saw this type of martial arts until the duo of Stephanie and Evangeline Agbay performed. It was a fascinating five-minute show. And you could see their benefactors, Francis and Joy Onglatco, beaming with pride.

Without doubt the best-looking awardee was Niño Ramirez. The MVP at last year’s PRISAA National Championships (and the basketball star at USC), Niño wore a black coat-and-tie that complemented the formal wear of his equally good-looking parents, Jay and Lou Ramirez.


Don-Don with (from left) the Ramirezes: Marilou, Niño, PSC Chairman Butch and his brother Jay

Standing on the stage, to my right was a table loaded with superstars. Consider these names: Z. AJ. Boom-Boom. Donnie. Know them? Of course you do! Z Gorres. Michael Domingo. Rey Bautista. AJ Banal. Their trainer, Edito Villamor. With them were ALA Gym honchos Dennis Cañete and Chad Cañares. The top gun himself, Michael Aldeguer, attended despite that night being his wife Christine’s birthday. The looked terrific wearing black long-sleeves. But what made me happiest posing for a photo with their group? Because world champ Donnie “Ahas” Nietes didn’t bring his snake!

From left: Manny Villaruel, Dennis Cañete, Z Gorres, Boom-Boom Bautista, Michael Aldeguer, AJ Banal, Edito Villamor and Michael Domingo

Who else joined the jam-packed crowd? Judo’s Vicente Fernandez III, the silver medalist of the Philippine Olympic Festival, was there. So was Vince Marc “Mac-Mac” Tabotabo (the multi-awarded tennis star), joined by his dad Titus and coach Dodong Ruelan.

The Siso family, who’ve been awardees almost each year, were in attendance: mom Sally and children Niño, Sally Dine, and Sally Mae (who’ll be leaving for Jakarta, Indonesia this Friday for the Asian Championships).

From left: Don-Don, Sally Dine Siso, Sally Siso, Sally Mae Siso, Niño Siso, Cyril Camporedondo, Butch Ramirez, John Pages

Dancing. No, the night wasn’t all eating or trophy-giving; twice, the Dancesport Team Cebu City—represented by Christy Kim Velez and Inoue Roi Rendon—boogied, swayed their hips, and did the “split” on the shiny floor. When they finished, I noticed a man, seated just inches away, whose eyes grew wider, mesmerized.

“Boom-Boom,” I announced, “we all know is a very focused man. But I’ve never seen him this focused… staring at the sexy dancer, Christy Kim Velez!”

The crowd roared while Boom-Boom, never one to shy away inside the ring, smiled, turned red and blushed.

All-Cebu Sports Awards Photos

These were the awards of the 2008 edition…

Cebu City 15-and-Under Football team

Don-Don Hontiveros (far left) and Butch Ramirez (far right) pose with gymnast Mary Carmelli Garovillo with her mom

San Miguel Corporation’s Girlie Garces, PSC Chairman Butch Ramirez, The Freeman columnist Raffy Uytiepo and John Pages

John Pages (Sun.Star Cebu), Caecent No-ot Magumbol (The Freeman), Rick Gabuya (CDN Sports Editor) and Manny Villaruel (The Freeman Sports Editor)

The Agbay family (at center, Stephanie and Evangeline, with their parents) posing with Don-Don and PSC Chairman Butch

Proud Night! Niño Ramirez with his girlfriend and mom Marilou

Don-Don with Superbalita Sports Editor Jun Migallen

Lessons we can learn from Dr. Pacquaio

I’m republishing this article I wrote last Feb. 22, 2009 (last year)…

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Manny looking up at 7-footer Greg Slaughter; from left, Raffy Uytiepo, Jun Migallen, John Pages, Jingo Quijano and Raffy Osumo (Photo by Iste Sesanted-Leopoldo of CDN)

As president of the Sportswriters Association of Cebu (SAC), I was tasked to give the Closing Remarks at last Wednesday’s 27th SAC-SMC Cebu Sports Awards at the Casino Español.

I prepared a 10-minute speech. Instead—because Pacquaio had left, the clock neared 10:30 p.m. and the crowd sat restless either to have photos with Greg Slaughter or to head home—I delivered a 25-second “Thank you and goodbye” message. Allow me to read to you—in writing and in full—my speech…

“To Acting Vice Mayor Jun Davide and Councilor Jack Jakosalem, thank you for joining us tonight. I promise not to talk about the Cebu City Sports Center track oval! Thank you to Girlie Garces of SMC, our awards night partner for decades.

“I’d like to congratulate Fr. Vic Uy, the first Cebuano PSC commissioner, who is the Presidential Awardee. To my fellow Rotarian, Francis Onglatco, the Orlacsan Awardee. To Maxi Maximo, the Sportsman of the Year. To Donnie Nietes, who is represented by Michael Aldeguer. To Gerry Peñalosa, our co-Athlete of the Year… Congratulations!

“I’d like to recognize Nonito and Rachel Donaire for joining us. Same with the president of the Casino Español de Cebu, Manny Sainz.

“Our Guest of Honor, Monico Puentevella, the congressman from Bacolod, maayo ni siya mag basketball kag mag-tennis. Plus, he’s an excellent singer! Maybe we can hear a duet later with Manny?

“Dr. Manny Pacquiao: We’re lucky to be the first event to address him as Dr. Pacquiao. And, I’m sure next to GenSan, Manny calls Cebu home. Why? Because his father, Rosalio, comes from the southern town of Pinamungajan. Dili ra si Manny maayo mo Bisaya, naa gyud siya Cebuano roots. Thank you for accepting our Lifetime Achievement Award. Hangyo lang mi that this May 2, katong hambugero kaayo na taga England i-knockout nimo!

“I’d also like to commend all the parents who are here. Without your support, example, sacrifice… your children will not be here.

“To our awardees, congratulations! This is a memorable night. Imagine, this is the 27th Awards Night and there have been thousands of past Cebuano greats who’ve come before you… but, tonight, is your night.

“Feel proud. Celebrate. Smile. And, before the night ends, have a photo not only with Manny but with all the other athletes. THIS HAPPENS ONLY ONCE A YEAR.

“Two tips I want to share with you summarized in three words: BE LIKE MANNY!

“Never stop learning. Look at Manny. He’s the greatest boxer in the world. On his off days, he can be watching TV all day or relaxing at the beach… but, no, what does he do? He enrolls in college. He reads. He’s planning to become a lawyer. That’s amazing. Shows how learning and studying is so important to Manny. So I hope that we, too, will learn from this: to never stop learning, never stop improving.

“Work hard. There’s no shortcut to success, especially boxing.. you’re the only one on the ring. Like my fellow sportswriters, I’ve watched Manny up-close train at Wakee Salud’s gym and you won’t believe what he goes through: the no. of hours he trains, all the beating and suffering he undergoes. I asked others if they try to follow Manny and they do… but they all get sick! Nobody can match the work ethic of MP. So, I know you all work hard but, if you want to become a world champion… you’ve got to train like MP!

“To end, let me say that if you grab a newspaper today and scan through its pages, what do you see? BAD NEWS. If you look at the front page, there are murders, factory closures, Texters’ Choice fiascos… Bad news.

“But, did you know that there is one section in the newspaper that is the GOOD NEWS SECTION. You know which one? It’s the sports section. And why are the sports pages the good news section?

“BECAUSE OF ALL OF YOU. Because of your Palarong Pambansa gold medals, your trips to Singapore or Hong Kong where you won silver or bronze, your flying to Manila and beating RP’s best. Because of you, there is good news. Thank you.”

2009 Cebu Sports Awards… More Photos

These photos from last year’s Cebu Sports Awards….

Thanks to Iste Sesante-Leopoldo and Marian Baring for these pictures…

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Gerry and Manny

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Edward Hayco, Nimrod Quiñones, Marian Baring and Marigold Lebumfacil

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POC Chairman Monico Puentevella (center) with Jun Migallen, Raffy Uytiepo, Caecent Magsumbol, Iste Leopoldo, Goldie Lebumfacil and Manny Villaruel

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Greg Slaughter with Mike Limpag and Marian Baring

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Tennis ace Sally Mae “Em-Em” Siso receiving her award

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Sun.Star Cebu Sports Editor Mike Limpag with Ciriaco “Noy Cacoy” Cañete

27th SAC-SMC Cebu Sports Awards Photos

More photos from the 2009 Awards Night…

Thanks to Marian Baring of Sun.Star Cebu for these photos…

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Greg Slaughter and Manny Pacquiao

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Jinkee and Manny…

dsc-1698Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) Chairman and Bacolod Congressman Monico Puentevella, the night’s Main Speaker

dsc-18191The Awardees

dsc-1792Hon. Monico Puentevella (in blue) conversing with Manny; left, John Pages; right, Raffy Osumo

dsc-1767With the Carcel family (from left) Mia, Kali, Neil and Tonio

dsc-1824The Sportswriters Association of Cebu members

dsc-1789From left: Noel Villaflor, Jonas Panerio, John Pages, Hon. Puentevella and Manny