NONOY ALBA is the new president of the Casino Español. During the annual Voters’ Meeting two nights ago at Cebu’s prestigious “Spanish House” along V. Ranudo St., Jose Luis “Nonoy” Alba was chosen to lead the club that’s celebrating its 90th year. The other members of the new Board of Directors include Manny Sainz (VP), Gabby Leyson (Secretary), Rene Kintanar (Treasurer), Buddy Veloso (House Chairman), Boy Limkakeng (Cultural Affairs Director) and Rico Gandionco (Sports Director). Felicidades!
His first name is Manny. His second name is Sainz. And just like Carlos Sainz, the world champion rally driver who hails from Spain, he, too, traces his roots from the country that’s home to the world-renowned cities of Barcelona, Valencia, Bilbao, Sevilla and Madrid.
Manny Sainz is the president of one of the most illustrious and preeminent clubs in this city, the Casino Español de Cebu. Last week, in his honor, two sporting events were organized. One was tennis; the other, badminton. With the game of Maria Sharapova, a total of 40 aficionados joined. The yellow team, headed by team captain Romy Alejandro, had 10 doubles pairs; same with the green squad of captain Fred Quilala. For several nights, their squadrons battled using tennis racquets as they tossed balls to serve, spiked them for smashes, swung forehands, sliced backhands. In the end, one team emerged winners: Green.
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They own two Roland Garros-looking tennis rectangles. There’s a full-length basketball court. There are six world-class bowling lanes. Badminton? Recently renovated where layers of wood and rubber were glued underneath to soften the bounce, the two Taraflex badminton courts may be this city’s top facility. Billiards? Two tables await. Poker? Mahjong? Other games where you sit down, chat, order a glass of Dondi Joseph’s wine, socialize? They’re available. If your sport is the sport of fishes, the Casino Español de Cebu’s swimming pool, swarmed with palm trees amidst the cluster of Spanish architecture, is picturesque.
Where will you be? Who will you watch? Which sport will you gaze at? Golf? Kart racing? Tennis? Mountain-biking? Or how about observing how horses gallop, sprint and prance during the Rodeo Show in Mandaue?
This long May 1 to 4 weekend, from what I’ve seen, will be one of the most crowded of sporting weekends….
The palace is a mansion. With a ballroom that can seat 500, a fine dining enclave called El Comedor, a poolside that will rival Plantation Bay, two tennis courts, six bowling lanes, two badminton courts, billiard tables, dining tables, buffet tables, and the decades-long-popular “Bar Mixto,” is there any mansion that can rival this palace? There is none.