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.

Young and restless, his comeback brings joy

Antonio Aldeguer. Ricky Ballesteros. Michel Lhuillier. Edward and Eleanor Hayco. Jonathan Guardo. Yayoy Alcoseba. Jack Jakosalem. The late Dodong Aquino. Koko Holganza. Ask me to name, in the 23 years that I’ve resided in Cebu City, the names of sportsmen whom I admire the most and these people rate the highest. There is one more. In fact, of all, he is one of the most action-oriented, no-nonsense, results-focused, restless.

A long while back, he launched the Milo Little Olympics. I recall, in those early meetings when I was the Tournament Manager for Tennis, listening to him explain this new Cebu-wide tournament. Same with the Cebu City Olympics. Same with the Inter-barangay events that spanned 80 barangays.

Remember the Tri-City Run? Where a field of internationally-known runners joined the Mactan-Mandaue-Cebu trek? That 25K run existed for seven wonderful years. And, would you believe, only one RP race was accredited by the international books: his Tri-City Run. The author of the event? Of so many events?

J.A.Y. For long, that’s Joy Augustus Young.

An appeal to Tommy, Mike, our city councilors

Let’s act. Now. With the funds of the South Road Properties (SRP) about to enter the Cebu City government’s bank accounts in the coming months, can we get a commitment from Mayor Tomas Osmeña, Acting Mayor Michael Rama and our Cebu City Councilors to repair our Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC) track oval this 2009? Please?

The Abellana grounds (as many still refer to our facility) is the lone sports complex of our city. I repeat: The. Only. Sports. Complex. In. Cebu. City.

And, are we not the city that’s envied by our neighbors from all over the Philippines? Don’t the words “Cebu City,” when mentioned to foreigners from Alabama to Madrid to Zurich, evoke a positive image that leads many to prefer visiting our Sinulog and bathing in our Mactan beaches more than any other RP town? Are we not The Queen City of the South, the capital of the Visayas and Mindanao? In the arts? In the academe? In super-malls and shopping complexes? In commerce? In music?

In sports? Yes, we are. Because we are CEBU CITY. We’re proud of our history, our resilience from typhoons like Ruping, our independence from Imperial Manila. We’re Cebuanos.

How many times, in the 23 years that I’ve resided in this city since our family moved from Bacolod, have I heard classmates from Manila, vacationers from Los Angeles, California, entrepreneurs from Makati, all say, “We love and want to reside in Cebu.”

Because we’re Cebu City. Proud Cebu City.

Categorized as Cebu City

‘Pushing For Track Oval’ article by Sun.Star


Ricky Ballesteros addresses the athletic directors, heads of the running clubs and running enthusiasts (Sun.Star photo by Arni Aclao)

Pushing for oval repair (Sun.Star article, Feb. 14, by Rommel Manlosa)

RUNNING enthusiasts who belong to the different running clubs or schools gathered last Thursday to launch a signature campaign that will put “positive pressure” on the Cebu City officials to rehabilitate or repair the damaged Cebu City Sports Complex (CCSC) track oval.

“The CCSC track oval is already 15 years old. It is the busiest and most frequently-used track oval in the country. Its life span is only 10 years but it has served the Cebuanos longer than expected. This time we have to act by asking the City officials, Mayor Tom (Osmeña) or Acting Mayor Mike (Rama) and the City Council, to repair or build a new track oval. This signature campaign aims to get their commitment for the repair of the oval,” said organizer John Pages.

Categorized as Cebu City

The Freeman article on the CCSC oval

Signature campaign on for renovation of 15-year-old CCSC track oval
By Marigold P. Lebumfacil

CEBU, Philippines – Some concerned members of the Cebu sporting community have formally launched a signature campaign aimed at pressuring the City government officials to appropriate funds for the renovation of the 15-year-old rubberized track oval of the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC).

Sportswriters Association of Cebu (SAC) president John Pages and CCSC manager Ricky Ballesteros spearheaded the move in a meeting with school athletic directors, heads of running clubs, and the education sector the other night at Sunburst Restaurant along General Maxilom Avenue, this city.

Categorized as Cebu City