Freeman Cebu Sports

Death March Run

Raffy T. Uytiepo - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — The “Araw ng Kagitingan” (Fall for Bataan) has always been special to me.  No it’s not that we celebrate the Filipinos’surrender to Japan, but it’s the yearly commemoration,where we ran from Mariveles, Bataan to San Fernando, Pampanga.  Even before Bald Runner Gen. Jovy Narcise started a competitive ultramarathon, my good friend the late Ed Paez, organized a non-competitive run in 1986 where we traced the actual  route  of the infamous “Death March” of 1942. We started with just 28 runners and had meager supplies until a lot of NGOs and local government units took notice.  If you’re wondering why we ended the run  in San Fernando, history says 70,000  Filipino and American prisoners started walking from Mariveles with the final destination,Capas, Tarlac where they were supposed to be imprisoned in CampO’Donnell.  About 10,000 died of hunger, dehydration or fatigue and if the March continued “wala nay makaabot sa Capas.”  The prisoners were then herded in sugar cane (freight boxes) train which transported them to Tarlac.  My father-in-law, Felix Leyson  a US Navy and three others, escaped the march on the second day by jumping into a ditch.  Ed Paez was the founder of the San Fernando Runners Club (Safer) who started the tribute. Some of the athletes who have joined the run include the late Mona Sulaiman, Orly Bauson, Rey Antoque, Roy Vence and PaquitoRizalde.  The runners covered the 102- route in two days, resting for the night at Guagua, Pampanga before proceeding to San Fernando the next day. Former governors Lito Lapid and Bren Guiaowelcomed us at the San Fernando Capitol.

Keeping up with Khloe

Don’t look now, but Khloe Kardashian is expecting  her first child and guess who is the father? NBA star Tristan Thompson of Cleveland Cavaliers. Khloe used to be the wife of Los Angeles Lakers Lamar Odom who almost died in 2015 of drug overdose.  Odom took sex enhancing pills and was with a hooker.  Khloe has since divorced Odom and started dating Houston Rockets star James Harden but the relationship never worked out.  So it’s Tristan who has kept up with Khloe after all.

Did you know?

When Tiger Woods was introduced to pop singer Christina Aguilera, the golfer said he has all the music CD’s of the sexy singer and was a fan of hers.  Aguilera was thrilled and replied “Thank you so much Tiger, I just wish I knew more about your tennis career.”  I’m sure “Wa nibasa sa sports page si Aguilera.”

Irving Berlin

Was the songwriter of White Christmas, the biggest-selling hit until Elton John came along with “Candle in the Wind” I could not imagine the excitement when I visited his grave in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx last month.  Irving was one of the most prolific songwriters in history, could  not read a note of music and when composing, played the piano only in the Key of Fsharp, using  all the black keys.  He had a special piano manufactured to which he could change key by pushing down a custom-built pedal.

Cliff Richard

Has been a tennis fanatic for years said “If I’m in the middle of hitting a most fantastic cross-court backhand top spin and someone says” Can you stop now and have sex.”  I’ll say “No thanks.”

Dennis Rodman

Former NBA bad boy married Carmen Electra in a Las Vegas chapel on November 14, 1998. Nine days later Rodman filed for annulment stating he was drunk at the wedding. “Puwede diay ko pakasal usab kung hubog ko?” Cebu’s Frank Sinatra Jhun Villahermosa said “Puwede sa luyo ka pakasal kay human ka naman sa atubangan.”

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