Flying to Malaysia to see Roger and Pete

KUALA LUMPUR—Our Cebu Pacific flight 5J501 left for Manila at 9:10 p.m. last Sunday and landed at the KL Airport at 12:45 a.m. yesterday. The flight was, to borrow Thai Airways’ slogan, as smooth as silk.

From Cebu, on board the plane were myself and my wife Jasmin, top ophthalmologist Dr. Ronnie Medalle and his wife Steph, and Mark Aseniero and his wife Ding. Plus, there was a surprise Cebuano we met at the NAIA departure area: Vince Marc “Mac-Mac” Tabotabo. All of 10 years old, you’ve read the “TABOTABO” name publicized in these sports pages many times. He’s RP’s no.1 tennis player in the 10 and under category. Accompanied by his dad Titus and coach Dodong Ruelan, Mac-Mac (together with Nino and Sally Mae Siso and Jacob Lagman) will join four tennis events here in Malaysia.

31st Milo Marathon

Last Sunday morning, my alarm rang at 5:20 in the morning. From our hotel room in Manila, I took a peek outside and saw that the cement roads were wet and the skies were dark and rain was about to fall. I went back to sleep. By 7 a.m., I arose back and wore my running shoes then headed for Rizal Park to run 12 kms. Just a few hours earlier, on the same spot, the 31st Milo Marathon commenced. There were several categories: 42-K, 10-K, 5-K, and 3-K. Thousands of men and women ran. Here are some photos…

In Boston, an avid spectator from Cebu

The Boston Celtics are 8-0. They own the NBA’s best scorecard. Last week, top Cebu rheumatologist Dr. Ronald Eullaran fulfilled his lifelong dream to watch “Larry Bird’s team.” Here’s Dr. Ron Eullaran:

“I was in Boston from Nov. 6 to 11 for our Annual Meeting of the American College of Rheumatology at the new Boston Intl. Convention Center. The topics were great but we were more excited to watch the game between the Boston Celtics and Denver Nuggets. I have long been a fan of the Celtics since the era of Larry Bird. Visiting the Boston Garden is one of my dreams. Well, it became true last Wednesday, Nov. 9. Boston Garden, now named Banknorth Garden, is huge but it wasn’t difficult for me to spot the #33 jersey among the retired numbers that hung from the roof.

Shooting with the Stars

That’s Cecil Mamiit (2nd from the left) when we watched him at the Davis Cup event earlier this year at the Manila Polo Club. Mamiit, in case you didn’t know, is the country’s top bet in tennis. Although he grew up and resides in California, he’s come back home to represent his native Philippines.

Dr. Ronald Eullaran stands at the left-most. Dr. Ronnie Medalle is 2nd from the right and I’m the one at the right-most. I’ll be together with Dr. Medalle, one of Cebu’s top ophthalmologists, next week when we watch the Federer/Sampras and Nadal/Gasquet exhibition matches in Kuala Lumpur. Hope we can pose for a similar photo with those tennis greats named Roger and Pete.

Categorized as Tennis

Roger Federer advertisement by Nike

Among all the TV ads I’ve seen, this has to rank one of the best. You may, or may not, have seen it. It doesn’t matter. You’ve got to watch it again… and smile. To those who can’t view the YouTube clip below, click here.

Pete Sampras live? Roger on that!

I’m a tennis fanatic. I’ve walloped forehands and smashed volleys for 21 years. Watched Ivan Lendl and Stefan Edberg “Live at the Araneta Coliseum.” Saw Carlos Moya at the 2003 Thailand Open. I’ve never missed a tennis grand slam watch on Star Sports. Read 112 issues of Tennis magazine and gobbled up autobiographies of John McEnroe and Boris Becker. I am, as I said, a tennis freak.

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

Doctors Peter and Yong

Yesterday (Friday, November 9), our Sun.Star Cebu sports editor Mike Limpag penned an excellent article about the recent New York City Marathon run of doctors Yong Larrazabal (below photo, right) and Peter Mancao. Below is the article, “After New York, doctors eye Boston marathon.”

FOR MOST people, spending thousands of pesos and traveling halfway round the world evokes images of a relaxing vacation—not that of waking up early in the morning to wait in line in the cold mist for five hours just to get the chance to run 42 kilometers for four or five more hours.

Nonito Donaire

Had dinner last night with the reigning IBF and IBO Flyweight world boxing champion… Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire. Great guy. Really funny. Easy to talk with. No airs. Speaks Bisaya. His dad, Nonito, Sr., is just like the son… another very likeable guy. We were at Mooon Cafe, a Mexican-themed restaurant in Guadalupe, Cebu that my family recently purchased. Enjoy our photos…

The Donaires (seated) with (from left) Atty. Jingo Quijano, John Pages, Mike Limpag, Gerry Malixi, Dong Secuya, Manny Villaruel, Salven Lagumbay and friends

Categorized as Boxing