Another Malonso milestone
SPORTING CHANCE - Joaquin M. Henson () - January 20, 2009 - 12:00am

Col. Julian Malonso’s achievements count for several lifetimes when compared to what ordinary mortals usually accomplish. He’s the ultimate sports guru – an athlete, official, critic, historian and fan.

Malonso is now 85. He recently published his memoirs in a book which is a must-read for every sports enthusiast.

Malonso’s father Hilario, a dentist from Arayat, died at the age of 95 and his mother Marcela Mota from Meycauayan and Binondo, passed away at 92, both in 1983. The second of five children, Malonso is almost sure to live into his 90s, thanks to his genes.

Malonso’s oldest brother Jose was accidentally shot to death by a fellow soldier, playing with a .45 caliber pistol, at Camp Macabulos, Tarlac, after the Liberation. He was a sergeant in the military police. The soldier who pulled the trigger is now a monsignor.

Another brother Vicente is a dentist living in Florida. He is on his third marriage after his first two wives died. A sister Herminia is single and also a dentist residing in Chicago. The youngest Siony, 77, is married to Cesar Ordonez. She is a piano teacher and handicraft exporter.

Malonso was taking up dentistry at UP when he was approached by UST’s Spanish athletic director Fr. Agapio to try out for the varsity basketball team. He gave up dentistry to play the sport he loves and has never regretted the decision. In 1946, Malonso played on the unbeaten UST champion basketball team.

Malonso finished high school in Letran and earned an education degree at UST, a commerce degree at FEU and a master’s degree in education at NU. He was a teacher at the Cagayan Valley Atheneium (later Ateneo de Tuguegarao), UST high school and Letran as a Spanish professor. Malonso played basketball in the NCAA, UAAP and MICAA. He was the physical education director at Uson Colleges, first president of the Gymnastics Association of the Philippines, first president of the Metropolitan Basketball Association, POC president, two-time NCAA president and secretary-general of the Asian Gymnastics Confederation.

As a sports official, he attended the 1960 Rome Olympics, 1964 Tokyo Olympics, 1980 Moscow Olympics and 1972 Tehran Asian Games.

In 1980, Malonso was named an outstanding alumnus of both Letran and UST.

Malonso proudly declared that his most cherished achievement was winning the heart of the love of his life, Honorata Aves Tan. “I was about to leave for the US but I decided to stay when I met her,” he said. “She was going to be a nun. I convinced her to marry me instead. My idol is my UST teammate and good friend, Dr. Pepet Genato whom I know is a one-woman man. Throughout my married life, I’ve followed Pepet’s example.”

Malonso’s wife, now, 82, is related to the Sottos. She is an aunt of Tito and Vic, both of whom were Malonso’s students at Letran.

A few weeks ago, the Malonsos celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary at the Valle Verde VI clubhouse in Pasig.

Two priests, both Malonso students, concelebrated the Holy Mass which was the highlight of the diamond anniversary rites attended by over 300 guests. They were Bishop Ted Bacani and Fr. Enrique Lalana, Letran ’56 high school classmates with Jose Ma. Sison, former PSC commissioner Anthony Nicanor and Jimmy Cura.

The Malonsos’ principal sponsors were Vice President Teofisto Guingona, Nini Quezon Avancena, Justice Leonor Luciano, Justice Andres Narvasa (who came with son Chito), Sen. Ramon Magsaysay Jr., Socorro Cruz, Col. Jesus Cabarrus, Dr. Teresita de Guia, Chairman Manoling Morato and Ching Suva. The groomsmen included his idol Dr. Genato, former POC president Gen. Rene Cruz and three-time Olympian Ramoncito Campos.

TV personality Dodie Lacuna was the master of ceremonies.

* * * *

Condolences to the family of former U-Tex basketball team manager Walter Euyang who played a key role in the Wranglers’ unforgettable championships in the PBA in 1978 and 1980 with coach Tommy Manotoc.

Euyang was a gentleman and sportsman of the highest order. It was Euyang’s vision that opened the eyes of businessmen in recognizing the PBA’s potential as a major-impact marketing tool. Euyang was credited for bringing former Glenn McDonald to the PBA. He was the personification of class and a symbol of professionalism during his tenure in the PBA.

Euyang’s wake will be at the Holy Trinity Church, Forbes Park, from 3 to 8 p.m. on Thursday.

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