PCAP stories: Cagayan Kingsâ Jonito & Jake Tumaliuan
Jonito Tumaliuan (L) and Jake Tumaliuan

PCAP stories: Cagayan Kings’ Jonito & Jake Tumaliuan

Rick Olivares (Philstar.com) - February 12, 2021 - 4:20pm

MANILA, Philippines — One of the serendipitous things that have risen from the formation and play of the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines is how many of the country’s ageing chess pistoleros are given a chance relive their glory days and to ride off into the sunset.

And if they are lucky, to play alongside their sons and their daughters. And on the rare occurrence, their grandchild.

In the Cagayan Kings lineup is the father-and-son tandem of 63-year-old Jonito and Jake Tumaliuan.

During Mang Jonito’s younger days, he studied electronics at the Alexan School of Technology located in Quiapo, Manila. When he wasn’t in school or working, Mang Jonito would head over to this area just outside the Philippine Rabbit bus terminal where there were eight boards for chess competition.

It was here where Mang Jonito would hustle his opponents. When he’d play black, he would allow himself to lose. When he’d switch to white, he bared his prodigious talents and blow away his opponent. 

Even in his hometown of Tuguegarao, Mang Jonito was a legend. From Cagayan to Isabela to Aparri, Mang Jonito’s name was feared.

“Kapag naririnig nila na maglalaro ako roon, ay natatakot sila,” he shared.

His 32-year-old son Jake, despite being unranked,is now making a name for himself in the Cagayan area and outside. After beating several international masters in a tournament in Cavite, he was given the moniker of “Bishop Pair.”

Early in the All-Filipino Conference of PCAP, Jake made the headlines when he defeated Grandmaster Darwin Laylo of the Pasig King Pirates in rapid play. 

Both father and son are back in their native Tuguegarao where prior to the pandemic and the lockdown, they both work as tricycle drivers by day and chess players at night.

The city is currently into hard lockdown and getting by has been difficult for the Tumaliuans. 

“Kung wala si Atty. Joel Butuyan hindi na ako inspired mag-chess,” bared Jake. “Bihira mag-sponsor ng sports dito sa Cagayan.” 

With the help of the Cagayan Kings’ manager and the ongoing All-Filipino Conference of PCAP, Jake is back to dreaming of taking his knowledge and capabilities in chess to a higher level.

“Baka sakali makapag-aral ako ng chess dahil sa PCAP,” he postulated. “Gusto ko rin magbigay ng inspirasyon sa kabataan sa larangan ng chess. At kahit unknown players ay kayang sumabay sa mga rated na player.”

Mang Jonito summed up the tremendous opportunity that PCAP and the Cagayan Kings has done for chess and themselves as a family and persons. “Malaking bagay na mag-teammate kami ni Jake sa Cagayan at makakatulong ito na mabigyan siya ng break na hindi ako nabigyan.”

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