Hasta La Vista Manny
SPORTS EYE - Raffy Uytiepo (The Freeman) - August 19, 2014 - 12:00am

I’ve known Manny Ibay for over 30 years now since he was detailed at the security department of the Gintong Alay, predecessor of the Philippine Sports Commission.  From the ranks, Manny rose to become property manager (incharge of issuing  gears to Philippine delegations to international competitions) and to Human Resources Department.  Manny was a late bloomer in running, nevertheless he was passionate. He formed the PSC runnning club that joined my Nike Pharmaton circuit in Baguio and Bacolod. We were together in many Asian Masters Athletes trackfest including in Seoul, Korea in 1996 where we ran in the 10K road race. Our team included Mona Sulaiman, Lolita Lagrosas, Linda Lavandia, Romy Sotto, Dorie Cortejo and Danny Jarina among others. Two years ago, Manny organized the National Masters and Seniors Athletics Association of the Philippines (NMSAAP) and held a series of Masters  competition.  One such event was the 1st Masters Athletics Invitational held last year at the Philsports, Pasig City.  I hastily formed a Cebu team composed  of Rening Ylaya, Raffy Osumo, Nemie and Tessie Escasinas and Al Geyrozaga. We were joined in Manila by my protege’ 1996 Atlanta Olympian and 6-time Milo Marathon champion Roy Vence and Fredo Villarta. When the smoke cleared, we were the runaway champion with 27 gold, 4 silver and 2 bronze medals.  Last August 10, 2013 I organized the Cebu leg of the Masters Athletics, again the Cebuanos lorded it over. We had six foreign participants, including Dennis Scott, Francis Costgrave and Lehel Rasz. Then we trained our sights to the 2014 Asian Masters set on September 18 in Kitakami City in Japan.  But head of delegation Manny Ibay will not be  around to join us.  Manny succumbed to cancer last Wednesday.  Despite being diagnosed with the Big C two years ago, Manny still organized and joined Masters competitions, the last in Taiwan in 2012. I know Manny was getting weak when he told me to take care of the Masters Association, being the regional director for Visayas and that he is happy he is leaving the Association to a passionate sportsman.  As always, “Hasta la vista Manny.”


Speaking of deaths, last Sunday the world commemorated the 37th death anniversary of Elvis Presely.  I was supposed to join Douglas Masuda, the Elvis of Japan and several Elvises at Elvis Night in  RJ Bistro, Dusit Thani Hotel in Makati City, but had to beg off due to pressing business commitments and a bad cold.  Anyway I’m in the middle of reading the book “The King and Dr. Nick,” a detailed expose on the medical health of Elvis. While so many stories go around that Elvis was still alive and just wanted to get out. The book tells of the different ailments of Elvis. Dr. Nick Nichopoulos was Elvis’ doctor for more than 10 years who was later investigated for giving Elvis an array of medical drugs.  Did you know Elvis had glaucoma, arthrities, conjunctivities, bowel mobility problem, insomnia, high blood, name it he had it.  The autopsy report said Elvis had 11 drugs  present in his system at the time of his death.  These include ethinamate, methaqualone, (sedatives), codini (narcotic analgesic) antihistamine, chlorpeniramine, barbiturates, meperideme, morphine and Valium.  Elvis was also addicted to demerol. The death certificate said the King died of a heart attack but a lot of people said it was drug overdose.  I’m wearing my Elvis T-shirt today that says “The King is Dead,long live Raffy!”

Chess Deaths

As I predicted, our Cheese este... Chess Team finished 46th place in 41st World Chess Olympiad held in Tromso, Norway, recently.  Just like our stint that ended in a bad note, another grim story unfolded when two chessplayers died.  Kurt Meier, a 67-year-old player from Seychelles, collapsed and died during the middle of a game against Rwanda.  Another player coming from Uzbekistan was found dead in his hotel room, probably resting after a game.  “Abi nako maka-relax ang chess?”  Ultrarunners who run 280 kilometers “buhi pa man gani.”

NOTE:  British Iconic singer Cliff Richard denied allegations of sexual impropriety after a boy claim of abuse dating back in the  the 80s.  Cliff’s hits include “The Young Ones” and “Summer Holiday” and “Ocean Deep”  “Bading diay si Cliff?” said a Cliff Richard fan.


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