Asian Masters

SPORTS EYE - Raffy Uytiepo (The Freeman) - February 25, 2014 - 12:00am

I took a quick one week trip to Manila to finalize our plans for the National Athletics Championship set this May at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.  National Masters Athletics and Senior Association of the Philippines president Manny Ibay said if the track oval which is on going rehabilitation would not be ready, he is considering Baguio City. Another alternative is to hold it in Bacolod City. I’ll be leaving next week to check on the availability of Panaad Sports Complex and seek the support of my La Salle-Bacolod classmate Monilo Puentevella, now mayor of the city.  To recall, our ragtag, hastily assembeled Cebu Team won 35 medals to rule last year’s edition of the trackfest, also at the Ultra.  Manny also picked me to join the National team to the Asian Masters Athletics Championship slated in the second week of October in Kitakami, Japan.  I’m still sporting pains on my plantar, but with Dr. Renald Ramiro around, I should be ready by then. Those interested to join me in Japan may text or call me so we could form a Cebu Team.  August of last year, Cebu hosted the Visayas leg held at the Cebu City Sports Center with the Cebuanos again hauling most of the medals.

Golden age Basketball tourney

It’s  been ages  since I played basketball.  As far as I can remember, the last time I dribbled the ball was during the tri-media cage wars.  Now, I guess it’s more of shoot first before dribbling (haha!)  Seriously now, coach and trainor Jun Noel Aranez has invited me  to form a team with players aged 50 and above to compete in the second conference of the Golden Age Basketball Tournament, which starts in May at the Don Vicente  Sotto Gym in Punta Princesa.  I told Jun I have to start with the basics anew while organizing my team. Maybe I’ll invite my teammates in the Sunriser Club who are in their 50’s, Jessie Gabatan, Tata Cortes, Celso Evangelista, Edwin Seno, Raffy Osumo, Bolgen Campomanes, Dr. Wenny Lumapas and myself. I guess we could be a competitive team.  Too bad Pepe Fegarido passed away late last year. We don’t know how long our legs will carry us but as the saying goes “kalabaw lang ang tumatanda.”  The league is being backed by Punta Princesa councilor Lito Navarro, Brickmer Alesna, Sockie Pasana, and Rick Arias.

Graceland in Makati

Last October, I visited the house of Elvis Presley, the Graceland Mansion in Memphis, Tennessee.  But did you know there’s also a Graceland in Makati City?  Last Thursday, I was  invited by Elvis of Japan, Douglas Masuda, who is also the president of the Elvis Presley International Friendship Club, to his condo unit in Salcedo Village.  I was really amazed with Douglas’ collection of top-of-the line Elvis jumpsuits that could be at par or better with the original. Credit goes to Bobby Torres and Vicky Masuda, who teamed up to come up with the jumpsuits that ranges from Php 30,000 to Php 65,000, including the belts.  Douglas also showed me an array of memorabilias including, glasses, posters, CDs, DVDs etcetera.  Douglas even has two life size statues of Elvis at his den where he asked me to  sing several Elvis hits.  If you don’t know, Douglas together with the Elvis of Italy Eddie Lumbardo and the Elvis of the Philippines Jun Espinosa were in that Toshiba commercial.  We were at Primos Bar and lounge in Mandaluyong City later that evening where  Douglas and I performed together with the Elvis  Presley  band, sometimes called Cool Dads.  Douglas, Bobby and I discussed plans to hold concerts in near future.  I’ll be back in  Manila  on May 31 to join the club as we pay tribute to an ailing original Elvis Impersonator, Chito Bertol, who suffered a stroke recently and has decided to retire.  By the way,  Douglas has a daughter named Maybeline, she may look fragile at five feet but don’t mess with her, she’s a word champion in women’s jujitsu. 

Francis and Richie

My chain-smoker classmate at La Salle Bacolod and one of the best amateur golfers in the country, Francis Gaston, turned hero when made the bogey putt to end Canlubang’s reign in the 28th Pal Seniors Interclub at the Negros Occidental Golf and Country Club.  The last time I met Francis, he said he was always running out of gas.  I told him, It’s his smoking that’s why he’s always out of Gas-ton.  Francis’ teammates include another good friend PSC chair Richie Garcia, Iggy Clavecilla and Eddie Bagtas. Congratulations guys! 




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