Everybody’s talking about one of the most-awaited sporting events this ’09: the Ironman 70.3 event in Camarines Sur this August 23. Singapore Marathon runner Jane-Jane Ong is targeting to join. Gerry Malixi is swimming the 2-km. length. Noy Jopson, the former triathlon record holder, is one of the local favorites. Anton Regis will join. What makes this triathlon special, from among many reasons, are these: 1) This is the first time in Phil. history that an Ironman (a licensed brand/event) will be competed here and, 2) The event allows relay teams: One can swim, another can bike the 90K length, and a third athlete can do the 21K run. It’s perfect, right? And, doesn’t the three-person squad fit the name Tri-athlete? For details, visit www.ironman703phil.com.
Just when I had written a story on Roger Federer’s demise, he goes on to win his first 2009 title (Madrid Open) and, yes, defeat The Unbeatable On Clay in his home country soil with a score, 6-4, 6-4. True, Rafael Nadal supporters will say, their Spanish Red Bull played 4 hours-plus the day before against Novak Djokovic and was fatigued and worn-out. But, still, a win is a victory. All this means two things: Chinggay Utzurrum and Michelle So of Sun.Star are euphoric and, come Sunday when the French Open begins in Paris, watch for a Confident Roger against a Vengeful Rafa.
Lahug Brgy. Captain Mary Ann de los Santos is running. She ran in the past, she’ll run in 2010 and, this Sunday, starting at the U.P. Cebu grounds and circling the city for 12 long kilometers, she’ll run. I’m no political journalist—that’s why this space is on these back pages—and so, by “run,” I mean, literally, run, as in planting one foot in front of the other and moving forward as sweat drips from the body then bounces off the asphalted road.
The 14th Gullas Tennis Cup has started. Vis-Min’s preeminent junior event where 200 children swat volleys and smash lobs, it is the brainchild of one family. Below was the article I wrote 24 months ago. With some updates, here’s their story…
Name me one family in Cebu who is a) Multi-millionaire rich; b) Famous; c) Respected for 100 years; d) Powerful; and—despite all the “Rich and Famous” trappings—have remained e) Humble.
The six-letter answer? Visit the Cebu Country Club courts today and you’ll see hundreds of boys and girls wearing T-shirts with one name printed on the chest: GULLAS.
With Cardinal Vidal, the Gullas family: Jackee Gullas Weckman, Cong. Eddie, Jiji, Didi and Dodong Gullas
Valentine’s Day three months ago at the sprawling and expansive Asturias farm of Frederic Chiongbian, seated around the dining table were Chris Aldeguer, Meyrick Jacalan, Frederic and myself. We debated. The topic? Who, among the billions of earthlings who have inhabited this planet, is the greatest athlete of all time.
“Lance Armstrong!” I said. As rapid as our Pambansang Kamao’s left punch, my trio of friends—all ardent bikers and devotees of Lance—quickly shot down my proposal and, in unanimous decision, echoed with one answer: No. 23.
I soon retreated. And concurred. It’s MJ. Think about it: In the 1990s decade and the 15 years that we’ve been blessed with his soaring presence dribbling that orange ball, weren’t those weeks and months the best in sports? Don’t those mental photos—of an identifiable black object flying inside the United Center skyline—bring back joyous memories?
Remember the tongue-wagging? The shiny scalp? Those baggy shorts? The Air Jordans? The diamond earring? Those dunks that slam. The red Chicago Bulls jersey with the most famous number in sports, 23? Remember those contests between Bird and Magic? The two Olympic gold rings? Space Jam? Best of all, remember the smile?
You’ve heard of e-tickets and eBay and e-commerce and e-Cards but have you heard of this…. E-Golf? Ever come across it? I’m sure not because this has never been introduced in Cebu—or, possibly, in the whole Philippines. What is it?
Pioneered by telecom giant PLDT and promoted by the company’s energetic and charismatic leader, Nilo Bantilan, the Vice President for Marketing in Vis-Min of PLDT’s SME Group, this idea is state-of-the-art.
Yesterday and today at the Mercedes Plantation Golf Club, dozens trooped to the northernmost town of Medellin to swing 5-irons and excavate divots. And, since Medellin is a long drive away, none of the golfers’ friends can watch them play if they’re here in Cebu City, right?