‘Golden Boy’ ALA Villamor shares life’s lessons
Emmanuel B. Villaruel (The Freeman) - October 12, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Cebuano boxing legend Edito "ALA" Villamor is now officially a 'Golden Boy' in terms of age, turning 50 years old today by sharing some valuable lessons and reflecting on what life brings in his half a century of existence in this earthly world.

"In my 50 years of existence and experience in this world, I realized that life is full of happiness, surprises, and changes," said Villamor, a two-time world title challenger and champion-maker with four-division world champion Donnie "Ahas" Nietes as his most famous student.

"There's more hurtful episodes that we don't know or can't prepare in advance. At times, you prepare so hard for the things you expect only not to happen at all, thus, causing you a great deal of disappointment," he added. "But you should accept the things that aren't meant for you. What matters most is that be grateful to God and to all persons who gave importance and trust you."

Villamor diligently worked his way up, from an aspiring boxer to Philippine champion, world title challenger, head trainer, matchmaker and eventually manager of Cebu's world-renowned ALA Gym.

But like anybody else, Villamor was hit hard by the global pandemic after the famed ALA Gym, his home for nearly three decades, called it a day in an unexpected move last August that sent shockwaves throughout the boxing world.

For Villamor, trials and tribulations are nothing but spices of life.

"All the pain and hardships I went through only add color and beauty to my life," said Villamor. "I never regret anything in my life even during the time when I was hooked on bad vices such as gambling and others. I am just fortunate that sir ALA came along to guide me in the right path (of my career)."

Villamor was referring to Antonio "Bidoy" Lopez Aldeguer (ALA), the founder of the now defunct ALA Gym whom he looks up to as a father figure.

"Though this, I always end up with the best even in the face of failures because I believe in all the plans of God for me. I enjoyed my journey in life and life is a privilege to enjoy," Villamor said. "At my age, I really did not expect that there are still some people who believe in me most especially that I was just hired as ambassador of Uy Masuy products. I am truly thankful to the Lord Almighty for how blessed I am."

As he journeys through life's uncharted waters ahead, Villamor wants to spread some lessons he learned over the years.

"When things get rough, do not give up easily. As they say, trust the process. You may pass through tears, fears, disappointments and everything else but after all these trials, believe that you will get what you deserve at the right time. Just don't take advantage of others," said Villamor. "As for haters, we can't avoid them so you must learn how to deal with them. Treat them not as your enemy but as a challenge."

"Also, don't be shy of whatever kind of work of you have especially during this pandemic. Work as hard as you can and be proud of yourself and in everything you do. Always give credit to the people who teach and guide you on how to go over with your daily living in the best way you possibly could. Above all, love your family always, have faith and trust in almighty God."

As for his immediate plan, Villamor said he and his brother Edmund will be spearheading soon barangay-based boxing clinics to aspiring pugilists aged seven to 16 years old around Mandaue City.

"Our boxing clinics are free. This is for the kids so that they will be interested in boxing and keep themselves away from bad vices. This is also our own heartfelt way of continuing the legacy of ALA Boxing," ended Villamor.

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