The secret to reaching the age of 100

Ernie Delco watched Wimbledon—live! The Rafa Nadal fan, who just landed in Cebu, called his trip last week “A dream come true” and added, “I may not have seen Nadal but was lucky to watch Federer at Center Court. I witnessed how fast yet graceful he moved his feet to get to every ball. I bet he will win this year.”

Ernie, together with friends Astro and Jeff, queued with 8,000 others for as long as two miles. “Venus and Serena were so elusive,” said Ernie, who also witnessed the 2009 Australian Open. “But I chanced upon their controversial father outside Court 2 where Serena was struggling in the first set. The guy was imposing but sounded soft-spoken.”

Maria Sharapova was also hard to find but one player whom Ernie stared at was Ms. Ana. “I got close to Ivanovic after her game against Daniilidou. We shook hands to the protest of her multiple guards. She’s more beauteous than on TV!”

JOEL GARGANERA. Minutes before boarding time at Singapore’s Changi Airport last Friday, I was with Steve Benitez. We walked towards E3, where our plane was parked. We saw Gino and Carmel Salvador and Joel Garganera.

Joel joined the 100-km. Sundown Ultramarathon. In his Facebook page, he said: “17th Century, My 17th Ultra/Marathon is a Hundred. 13:04:41.” Amazing. Congrats!

HOOPS DOME. The 7,000-seater Hoops Dome of Lapu-Lapu City will be open to the public. I’ve visited the facility (that’s located just minutes away from the old Mactan Bridge) and it’s Cebu’s best-kept surprise. The seats are multi-colored with backrests. The basketball boards are NBA-like. This is our mini-Araneta Coliseum.

“We are launching the Hoops Dome on July 2,” said Councilor Harry Radaza. “Lapu Lapu City is home to the first Filipino hero. And who better person to launch it than our very own modern-day Filipino hero, Manny Pacquiao. Of course, he will not be fighting, but instead singing with his MP Band featuring Lito Camo.”

LEBRON. Dr. Antonio Gestosani, the uncle of my wife Jasmin, wore an Ohio State T-shirt last weekend. I asked him about LeBron.

“He’s a traitor,” said Dr. Gestosani. “After Dallas won, Ohio celebrated like we won the championship. LeBron got greedy. The fame and money got to his head. He also thought he was Michael Jordan. He’s not. With Jordan, when he drove down the lane, players didn’t want to hurt him. Not with LeBron. They wanted to hurt him.

“Also, it wasn’t about him leaving the Cavaliers. That happens. We know that. What we despised the most was ‘The Decision.’ In Cleveland, a family of four pays $300 to watch LeBron. That’s expensive. But we all loved him. We all did. Not anymore.”

100. I was in Iloilo City last weekend. The occasion was the 100th birthday of Jasmin’s grandmother, Corazon Gayanilo.

Though riding on a wheelchair, Lola ‘Zon can still think and speak well. At the grand celebration last Saturday at the Sarabia Manor Hotel, what was amazing was that there were two birthday parties held at nearby function rooms: one was for our lola, at 100, and another was for a 95-year-old!

What’s the secret to becoming a “Century-old Chick,” as my daughter Jana jokingly referred to her lola?

Laughter. As family members spoke, including my mother-in-law, Malu Mendez, it was unanimous that Lola Zon was forever smiling and laughing. She’s a joker. (Days before her party, attended by family members who flew-in from the U.S., she joked: “Te, sin-o ma bayad sine tanan?” (Who will pay for all of this?)

I’m reminded of a similar party I attended a few months ago at the Casino Español. The celebrant was Mrs. Bebe Alcoseba. The auntie of my dad (and the mom of Councilor Yayoy Alcoseba), Lola Bebe turned 90 years old. Yet, she looks as youthful as 70; always giggling, her face radiates and glows. She is forever cheerful. She jokes a lot, laughs aplenty.

As one proverb reads, “A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.” And, as NFL’s Michael Pritchard said: “We don’t stop laughing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop laughing.”

John Pages

By John Pages

I've been a sports columnist since 1994. First, in The Freeman newspaper under "Tennis Is My Game." Then, starting in 2003, with Sun.Star Cebu under the name "Match Point." Happy reading!

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