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.

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.

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.

Categorized as Writing

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.

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.

Categorized as Cycling

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.”