Freeman Cebu Sports


SPORT EYE - The Freeman

I was in Iloilo City last week to visit the graves of my parents since I was not around during All Saint’s Day. Actually, I prefer not to join the rush to the cemeteries during the Feast of the Dead, as one cannot concentrate due to many distractions. Sometimes you pray for five minutes and socialize for hours. Anyway, I’m always looking forward to going home to my hometown Jaro District, now becoming a point of interest. Some out-of-town visitors go to the Jaro Cathedral so they could take a look at the baptismal chamber where presidential candidate Grace Poe was found. Preparations are now ongoing for the Jaro Fiesta on Feb 2, one of the biggest fiestas in the country.  Cockfighting at the  Iloilo Coliseum sometimes last for 3 days (walay tulogay).  Jaro is also the birthplace of my relative Graciano Lopez Jaena.  A lot of people don’t know this, but the late former Freeman publisher Juanito Jabat, was born and raised in Jaro.  Fred Jabat,son of Nito told me his father was an G.I ( genuine Ilonggo). IloIlo has indeed has come a long way.  Some of my friends cannot recognize the streets anymore what with buildings sprouting all over.  Some of the roads have eight lanes making the trip to the airport a breeze.  One can easily arrive at the airport in less than 30 minutes. Iloilo also has a 20 kilometer-bike lane and a jogging path called “The Esplanade.” At the Megaworld properties, high rise buildings are mushrooming with the state-of-art Iloilo Convention Center as the centerpiece.  Well,that’s the beauty  when the governor, the mayor and the congressman are in harmony, besides the support of Franklin Drilon.  I wanted to proceed to Antique to catch up with the Phil.National Games (Visayas leg) but my uncle Joselito Lorde Succumbed to the Big C.

Negrense wins Ireland Triathlon

While  I was in IloIlo, I met my protege Boyet Rentoy of Prosports who continued where I left.  To recall, I was directing the only races in IloIlo some 25 years ago. Boyet is now organizing the only ultramarathons in IloIlo Province.  Boyet also informed me that my “agaw” Roland “JunJun” Espina Jr. son of Bacolod journalist Rolly Espina, ruled  the UK Eskraghman Ironman Distance Triathlon in Eskraghman, Dungcanon.  Northern Ireland. Jun Jun clocked 11 hours and six minutes to rule the event that covers a 3.8 kilometer swim in the English Loch, a 180-kilometer bike route and 42.2 kilometer run.  JunJun was joined by several Filipinos including Rex Brillantes and former Negros Slashers (MBA) player Erwin Framo.  Jun Jun has qualified for the Spartathlon Ultramarathon in Athens, Greece next year.  The race traces the footsteps of Greek messenger Pheidippides who ran from Sparta to Athens to announce that the Greeks won in the Battle of Marathon.  Congrats gid primo JunJun.  By the way JunJun’s sister Mary Ann played the piano in the  Broadway play Miss Saigon.

Elvisaya and Lourdes Rondalla

The Christmas with Elvis and Friends Show at the Robinsons Fuente Activity Center will be different from previous presentations.  For the first time, Elvisaya will be backed  by the Lourdes Parish Rondalla.  The Rondalla under the baton of Rey “Babao” Taboada will perform Visayan and Christmas medleys while joining Elvisya in “It’s Now or Never” and “Can’t Help  Falling In Love”.  The Rondalla is headed by Fr. Gino  Godinez with the following members:  president Aljade Ramos, Emmanuel Cortes, Jera Ebrada, Rotchie Laborde, Grace Cordezar, Rhenson Juanas, Catherine Swerto, Mary Ann Millian, Lyle Baric, Kathleen Ramos, Immaculate Tundag,Leah Libres, Sidney Cabreros, Averustin Avelino, Rommiel Nuevo, Daven Generalao, Queenzell Unabia, Laime Barbadillo and Ryan Gijapon.  Also performing are Jhun Villahermosa, The Frank Sinatra of Cebu, TV host and Aliw singing champion Amie Filomeno and the winners of this year’s Campus Idol.  Hosting the show will again be Sam Costanilla with the probable appearance of Max Surban.

Notes:  By the time you read this column, I’m well on my way to Manila.  My siblings and I depart for Bangkok on Monday and Ho Chin Minch City on Saturday.  Elvisaya will be guesting during our cruise from Hanoi to Halong Bay.

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