It’s called “The Oscars” of its sport. If the game were American football, it would be the Super Bowl. If soccer, the once-every-four-years World Cup. It is comparable in stature to The Masters of golf, the NBA Finals of basketball, the Olympics of the 100-meter dash. Such is the popularity of this 14-day-long event that one British man once quipped, “Tennis is not popular in England. Wimbledon is.”
Why? Why is this event held at the All-England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in the London suburb of Wimbledon considered so revered? For one, it is “the oldest tennis tournament in the world.” And isn’t being the first—like that first kiss, the birth of your first child, one’s first job and paycheck, a first-time trip abroad—always special and extra memorable? That’s W.
While before, when the question is asked, “What’s in Cebu?” we often answer with the usual “sweet mangoes” and “Magellan’s Cross” and “white-sand beaches” and “SM and Ayala shopping,” after this weekend, we’ll have to add another description: “world-record holders.”
For what a brilliant idea from a brilliant man whose passion for dance is incomparable. Think of all the benefits a “World Record” will shower upon Cebu. There’s the publicity. This is major, major news. An act that should be trumpeted not only in our native province but, just as well, in our nation’s 7,107 islands.
What do you think? For me, it’s a little bit too “girlish.” Or flashy. His white apparel with gold trimmings is fine but that bag??? Peter Bodo says he looks like a “cruise ship host” in his piece entitled Dressing Roger.
While Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson fanatics stayed up all evening last night to watch the U.S. Open final round, I’d like to share with you the experience of a top-notch golfer who was a recent spectator at the event called “The Wimbledon of Golf.”
Maria Johnson, whose former name was Maria Teresa “Bebot” Pacaña before she migrated to America 33 years ago, is one of the top amateur golfers in her home state of Georgia. She sports a 4-handicap. Here’s Maria’s story…
“To all golfers and fans out there, Augusta National, a tradition laden golf course, rings a familiar tune. It is home to The Masters, considered by many to be the grandest of the four majors where all of the top professionals come to win the coveted green jacket. Thousands of people all over the world flock to Augusta National every spring to witness this spectacle.
Here’s an article I wrote about Mrs. Johnson last May 13, 2007…
Today, I’d like to greet a dear friend. We’ve met only once. We’ve met six dozens of times. Confused? In person, yes, only once—but through exchanges of emails the past two years, I’ve gotten to know her very well: that she’s lived in the States for 31 years now, that she owns a 4-handicap in golf, that she was the country’s No.1 roller skater in 1973…
Today is the birthday of Maria Johnson. It’s also the birthday of Bebot Pacana. You see, Maria and Bebot are one and the same person, athlete, wife, mother, friend.
Here’s the story I wrote, “Maria Comes To Town,” for Sun.Star Cebu in August 22 last year…
Today, she is called Maria Johnson. She’s American. She’s a golfer; not an ordinary, weekend hacker, but a Pro. Almost. She shoots a 4-handicap — which places her among the top echelon of female golfers in the United States. Amazing?
Published in Nov. 13, 2007, this has to be my favorite of all the articles I’ve written…
One of my most fulfilling roles in life is being a dad. I love being a father. I love the moments when I hold my daughter’s hand and take her out to a date, when we sit on the floor and play Korean jackstones, when we have breakfast at 6:30 a.m. and I tell her stories about World War II. Yes, no misprint there: our topics range from her Grade 3 quiz on Math to her Bright Academy football practice to why Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.
Once, there was a teenager who lived alone with his father. The two owned a special relationship. Even though the son never got to play basketball—he was always on the bench—his father never stopped cheering from the stands, never missed a game.
This young man was the smallest of his class when he entered high school. But his father continued not only to encourage him, but also made it clear that he didn’t have to play ball if he wanted to stop.
Yet the boy loved basketball. So he decided to hang in there, determined to try his best at every practice, and perhaps get to play when he turned senior. All through high school he never missed a practice, nor a game, but remained a bench warmer all four seasons. His faithful father was always in the stands with words of encouragement for him.