Danding Day
SPORTING CHANCE - Joaquin M. Henson (The Philippine Star) - June 28, 2020 - 12:00am

On the initiative of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Tarlac, a resolution was recently passed to declare June 10 of every year a special non-working holiday in the province as a forever tribute to the late San Miguel Corp. chairman Eduardo (Danding) Cojuangco who was born that day in 1935. Resolution No. 133-2020 was authored by Tarlac Vice Governor Carlito (Casada) David and co-authored by all Board Members to mark “Danding Cojuangco Day.”

Tarlac Gov. Susan Yap said the “Danding Cojuangco Day” is a testament to his greatness and the love of all Tarlacquenos for the man fondly called Boss Danding. To Cojuangco, Boss meant “Bawa’t Oras Sama Sama” because he never failed to lock arms with his countrymen in good or bad times, “sa hirap at ginhawa.”

During the necrological rites at the Bulwagang Kanlahi of the Diwa Ng Tarlac last Thursday, copies of the resolution were given to Tarlac Congressmen Vic Yap and Noel Villanueva and to Senate President Sen. Tito Sotto and Senators Joel Villanueva and Sherwin Gatchalian. Yap and Villanueva said they will co-author a bill in the House while Sotto assured he will file the bill in the Senate to make “Danding Cojuangco Day” official.

“There are no words to describe the greatness of Boss Danding, the best way to pay him a tribute is to immortalize him through the ‘Danding Cojuangco Day,’” said David. The sentiment was echoed by Cojuangco’s close friends in the province, notably former Paniqui Mayor Pidiong Ibarra and photojournalist Ver Buan, and officers and staff of the Tarlac-based Eduardo Cojuangco Foundation, including Walter Alvarez, Noel Alconcel, Larry Pastidio, Tess Liwanag and Marie Pabustan.

The Sangguniang earlier filed Resolution No. 132-2020 expressing deepest sympathies and condolences to Cojuangco’s bereaved family. The resolution was presented to Cojuangco’s sons, former Pangasinan fifth district Congressman Mark Cojuangco and Tarlac first district Congressman Charlie Cojuangco. The Sangguniang resolved that a copy of the resolution be presented to Mrs. Gretchen Cojuangco as “a token of the province’s sympathies and fervent prayers for the eternal repose of his soul.”

Meanwhile, the PBA said Cojuangco will always be remembered as “a shining example of a team owner with a passion for the game, a heart for the players and a love for the fans…(he) never compromised his principles and always valued fair play…as a sportsman, he enjoyed the competition and applauded the winner, no matter whose side he was on…he inspired athletes to work hard, to dedicate themselves to be the best in their craft and to prepare for a future beyond their playing years.”

In a tribute on its webpage, the PBA said “Boss Danding wouldn’t settle for anything less than first place…he set a trend for excellence not only in sports but also in business…when it came to representing the country, Boss Danding went all out to support athletes, knowing national pride was at stake…with Boss Danding at the helm, the San Miguel Group became a powerhouse in the PBA…today, the Group maintains three pro clubs – San Miguel Beer, Magnolia and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel – and Boss Danding’s tradition of excellence, sportsmanship and nationalism has carried over to San Miguel Corp. president Ramon S. Ang.

“Boss Danding also brought his love for the game to the UAAP where he was the chief benefactor of his alma mater La Salle…in 2013 and 2016, the Green Archers won the UAAP men’s basketball championship starring Jeron Teng who’s now in the PBA…this year, La Salle made its debut in the PBA D-League and was undefeated until the pandemic cancelled the season…watching the La Salle players advance to the pro ranks was a joy for Boss Danding who gave every opportunity for the athletes to excel and find gainful employment in the sport they love…in recognition of Boss Danding’s contributions, he was enshrined into the PBA Hall of Fame in 2007…he will be missed but his legacy lives on.”

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