Category Archives: Cebu

P250-million surplus? It’s time we fix the oval


Mayor Tommy Osmeña, Acting Mayor Mike Rama, Cebu City Councilors Jack Jakosalem, Yayoy Alcoseba and the entire Cebu City Council: Let’s rebuild our Cebu City Sports Center track oval now!

Built in 1994 by Mayor Tommy and spearheaded by then-Councilor Joy Augustus Young months before we hosted the Palarong Pambansa, our rubberized track oval’s life span is 10 years. Using simple math, this means that, five years ago—in 2004—when our maroon-colored sports circle exhibited signs of weariness when wrinkles sprouted and corrugated lines bloomed, it should have been overhauled.

Should have been. Because here we are, 15 years after it was constructed, and it’s the same rubber that’s glued. Continue reading P250-million surplus? It’s time we fix the oval

Cebu City Sports Center: The Ugly, the Bad and the Good

It is our Bird’s Nest. It’s our Wembley Stadium. It’s our Fenway Park. Our Rizal Memorial Sports Complex. It is the main headquarters of Cebu’s institution called Sports.

The 23rd SEA Games hosting? Check. Palarong Pambansa? Check. Regional meets? Provincial meets? City meets? Check. The Milo Little Olympics? Check. How about our city’s grandest mardi gras, the one held every January? Do we use the complex as the grand stage? Check.

But checking the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC) two mornings ago, here’s what I checked: a track oval clad with wrinkles and warps. Portions of the oval were so corrugated it appeared like snakes got implanted. Continue reading Cebu City Sports Center: The Ugly, the Bad and the Good

On ‘Laban na Banal,’ a Q & A with Michael A

Last night at 6:30 p.m., I spoke to one man who’s largely responsible for the mega-production that Cebuanos will witness this Saturday: the WBA interim super flyweight championship battle between Panama’s Rafael Concepcion and Cebu’s AJ Banal.

Michael Aldeguer. The president of ALA Gym, I spoke to Michael over the phone last night about this weekend’s fight….

What makes AJ Banal, I asked, special?

“His IQ for the game,” said Michael. “He’s only 19 but, compared to others, he’s advanced. He also has excellent all-around skills. Plus, AJ’s ability to adapt to any style. He can change tactics depending on his opponent’s style.”

Is it true, I next asked, that this early on AJ is being labeled as the “next Pacquiao?” Continue reading On ‘Laban na Banal,’ a Q & A with Michael A

Sportswriters Association of Cebu (SAC)

Yesterday (Jan. 29), the group of men and women whose stories you read about in the newspaper Sports Section met to deliberate on the winners for the upcoming SAC-SMC All-Cebu Sports Awards, an annual gathering where top athletes, coaches, individuals and teams are honored. I don’t have the final listing yet of awardees and will post them very soon. But for now, here are our photos from yesterday’s lunch at Cafe Laguna, courtesy of San Miguel Corp. and one of their top honchos, Girlie Garces.

Seated fom left: Marian Baring (Sun.Star Daily), Rick Gabuya (CDN), Manny Villaruel (The Freeman), Girlie Garces (of San Miguel Corporation); (standing, from left) Marsante Alison (The Freeman), Mike Limpag (Sun.Star Cebu), Raffy Osumo (The Freeman), Jun Migallen (Sun.Star Superbalita), Caecent Noot-Magsumbol (The Freeman), Brian Ochoa (CDN), John Pages, and Nimrod Quinones (The Freeman) Continue reading Sportswriters Association of Cebu (SAC)

Welcome back, Noel!

My good friend Noel Villaflor, the former Copy Editor and, at one time, Sports Editor, of Sun.Star Cebu, has returned to writing. Today, Saturday (Dec. 29), is the first day of his first column on the sports pages of the leading regional newspaper in the Philippines.

Noel is a big, big football fan. He follows the worldwide football news, reads about the latest RP soccer stories and, best of all, plays football himself. So his column, aptly called “FOOTNOTE,” is perfect for Cebu. You can read his column here. Continue reading Welcome back, Noel!

The Sportsman

His name and photo were permanent fixtures of these back pages. He was the chairman of the Cebu City Sports Commission. He shot basketballs, birdied golf holes, flicked his wrist in badminton, swung tennis backhands, and even donned bathing trunks to swim, pedal and run in triathlon.

Sportsman? Check. Politician? Check. Businessman? Cheque. His empire spans not only our city but nationwide. He has outlets and herbal medicine in just about every corner drugstore of our 7,107-island archipelago. And with money, he not only has the luxury of acquiring a sleek, white Jaguar XJ or owning several homes in Cebu, but, best of all, he shares.

During his four-year reign as Cebu sports’ Team Captain, he often turned his right hand backwards to pull out his wallet. He’s generous. Very generous. Athletes, sports teams, tournaments—they always flocked to him and he rarely said “I’m sorry.”

He is—of course you know him—Jonathan Guardo.

Guardo (right) with world boxing champ Nonito Donaire Continue reading The Sportsman

Heroes of the 30th PAL Intersports

When Cebu hosted the 30th PAL Intersports last month, we achieved the status of organizing not only the biggest-ever PAL Intersports in history (with over 800 participants) but also the best-organized event since these annual games were held decades back.

Credit goes to Mai-Mai Dasmarinas (top photo, left; with K), the energetic head of the Secretariat, and her group of young men and women who labored night and day to make the 30th PAL Intersports another success for our city named Ceboom! Check out more photos here… Continue reading Heroes of the 30th PAL Intersports

30th PAL InterSports biggest, best-ever

Last Saturday at 8 p.m., the Grand Convention Center overflowed. Red, blue, green, white—name a T-shirt color, it was visible. Ilonggo, Tagalog, Cebuano, Chabakano—name a dialect, it was represented. Bowling, basketball, billiards, badminton, golf, tennis—name a sport, it was played.

After 30 years of existence and three days of dripping sweat and pumped fists and friendly handshakes, the 30th PAL InterSports concluded last weekend.

Sev Sarmenta stood as emcee and made us laugh. Bernadette Sembrano, his co-emcee, was pretty in her short, brown hair—and how she charmed the men. Sitti (above photo), the Bossa Nova singer who’s only 20, wore a leg-revealing dress and soothed everyone’s muscle pains with her voice. Philippine Airlines’ top honchos were all in attendance, led by president Jaime Bautista.

Overall champions? Of course, who else but the host club: Los Jefes de Cebu. Out of the six sporting events, we topped almost each one…

In all, this wasn’t only the biggest-ever PAL Intersports in history—but also the best-organized. To Los Jefes de Cebu, hail to the Chiefs!

PAL Intersports soars!

Finally, it’s done. And with Philippine Airlines and Air Philippines as sponsors, the event succeeded with flying colors. The 30th PAL Intersports, composed of 12 teams from all over the Philippines (including squads from Australia and Guam), concluded last night with the Awarding Ceremonies at the Grand Convention Center. It was an unprecedented success. Over 800 executives arrived to compete in six events: golf, tennis, badminton, billiards, bowling and basketball.

Did you know that the PAL Intersports started in Cebu when a group of executives got together to play basketball? From that small group—which included the Aboitizes, Ugartes, Aldeguers, Lhuilliers—it expanded to include teams from out of town. Today, 30 years later, it’s grown into one large, nationwide, smiling, healthy family.

To Los Jefes de Cebu, led by my “neighbor” on this page, Ed Chiongbian, and my dad, Bunny Pages, the tournament chairman, and the rest of the organizing team—a big round of applause to you!

30th PAL Intersports finally underway

More than 30 years ago, a group of executives and businessmen from Cebu City decided to get together for a friendly game of basketball. They met again. And again. Every Sunday. They agreed to invite more friends. The group’s numbers grew. They decided to invite teams from out of town to play them in friendly games. This continued and continued and… look what we have now. Thirty years after, it’s one of the biggest gatherings of executives and businessmen to play sports. It’s the 30th PAL Intersports. It finally kicked off yesterday at 1:30 p.m. at the City Sports Club with the Opening Ceremonies. Right after, Chester Cokaliong and his basketball team representing the Los Jefes de Cebu played. The rest of the players scattered among the five other sports (apart from basketball, there’s tennis, golf, billiards, bowling and badminton). Last night (Thursday night) there was a Welcome Party for all. What a great start thus far!

The Muses during the Opening Continue reading 30th PAL Intersports finally underway

T. G. F. I.

INTRAMS. Don’t you love the sound of that word? Intramurals. Sportsfest. One full week of no Math, books, lectures, Science, blackboards. One full week of cheering, eating junk food, running, wearing sleeveless shirts.

I love Intrams. To me, it’s the best week of the entire school year.

Two days ago, I visited the sprawling and humongous brand-new Mandaue campus of the Cebu Doctors’ University. I sat in as one of the judges of the Miss Intrams. Six beauties paraded. Hundreds danced. Thousands clapped.

Yesterday, I strolled inside another site: the University of San Carlos Main campus. Six volleyball players faced six enemies across the net. Nearby, tennis players volleyed and smashed while the swimmers plunged to the pool.

I love Intrams. In elementary at the La Salle Bacolod, I recall sprinting the 100-meter dash and competing in games named basketball, volleyball, football. As a Grade 5 student, I sat alongside High School and College students—they mixed us with the upper levels—and, while swapping high-fives with teenagers, felt like a “big boy.” Continue reading T. G. F. I.

Pinay In Action

Among all the athletes in Cebu, one of those I admire the most is Noy Jopson. He’s a multi-awarded athlete at a multi-discipline sport—swimming, biking, running—called triathlon. Noy is a record-holder at triathlon. And not just the ordinary race—but the full Ironman. He’s joined that, completed the race in 13-plus hours, and won a handful. Noy, who’s now part of the team running Holiday Spa (in Banilad), sent me this e-mail:“Pinay in Action (PIA) is a series of talks (about women’s issues: breastfeeding, anti-violence, and health), a running clinic and a fun run. Senator Pia Cayetano will be in Cebu this Aug. 11-12: On Saturday, at the Holiday Gym and Spa (1:30–4pm) and at the Milo Marathon on Sunday. Please invite friends, especially moms and expectant mothers. Raffle prizes will be given away at the “Handa Ka Na Ba” seminars. Admission is free! — Noy Jopson”

Siso siblings on Star Sports tonight!

Sally Mae and Bernardine Siso with coaches Butch Bacani (at the back, right) and Mike Mora

You’ve read their three names. Clapped at their trophies. Saw her photo receiving the Outstanding Cebuana award from Mayor Tommy Osmena. Last year, we wept upon hearing of the shocking death of their 40-year-old father, Dino.

Tonight, if you have cable TV, I urge you to tune in to Star Sports at 10 p.m. The show is called “ACE by Sony Ericsson.” It’s no ABS-CBN or GMA-7 production. It’s a weekly tennis show aired all over Asia. Maria Sharapova? James Blake? They’re often featured there. Whose turn is it tonight?

Bernardine, Sally Dine and Sally Mae Siso. It all began four months ago when Mikel Ugarte called to say that Anthony Suntay, the famous TV host, wanted to video a short documentary on the Sisos. I called Anthony, made arrangements for us to meet two Saturdays later at the Casino Espanol and, next thing we knew, the Sisos were being interviewed by Anthony. And so tonight, finally, it’s here: Star Sports, 10 p.m. Continue reading Siso siblings on Star Sports tonight!

It’s Flying! The 30th PAL Intersports

More than 30 years ago in Cebu, a small group of businessmen and professionals huddled together. Among them were the Aboitizes and Ugartes. They played basketball. They dribbled, passed, sprinted down the parquet floor, jump-shot, laughed and high-fived. They had fun.

We ought to do this more often, they said. They did. We ought to invite other executives to join us. They did. We ought to make a tournament, a league, move to a larger venue, bring more players. And, they asked, why not invite friends from other cities? They did. That was over three decades back. Those were the 1970s. The era of Bee Gees and basketball shoes named Adidas Pro-Model.

Fast forward to today, July 22. Exactly one month, one week, one day from today—August 30, 2007—this event which started as a basketball shoot-out among friends is back. It’s back home in Cebu. Continue reading It’s Flying! The 30th PAL Intersports

The 30th PAL Intersports

THIS IS MAJOR. This will bring tourists. This will be talked about by friends, executives, Ilonggos, Cagayanons, Cebuanos and Filipinos from as far as Las Vegas and Guam. Over 1,000 executives will descend in Cebu from August 30 to September 1 when the 30th PAL Intersports hits this city. Of the 30 years that this event has been held throughout the country, this will be the biggest. A total of 18 clubs are coming–including six from outside RP: from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Guam, Shanghai, Las Vegas and Australia. I attended the press conference last Monday at the City Sports Club and the organizers were in full force. Read what Ed Chiongbian wrote yesterday (July 5) in his column and what Rommel Manlosa, also of Sun.Star, wrote last Tuesday (July 4). Continue reading The 30th PAL Intersports