Freeman Cebu Sports

Jun Olis leaves a lasting legacy in Cebu chess

Emmanuel Villaruel - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — A pall of gloom descended on the Cebu chess community with the passing on of one of its pillars, esteemed sportsman Apolonio "Jun" C. Olis, Jr. early morning on Sunday, October 8. He was 67.

Jun Olis hails from Tanjay, Negros Oriental but has become a beloved figure in Cebu sports with his unbridled passion for the famous European board game.

He was one of the earliest members of the Cebu Executives and Professionals Chess Association (CEPCA) that was established by the late Francisco "Boy" Pestaño, Art Ynclino and Alex Tolentino way back in 1990. He eventually served as club president for two consecutive terms from 2004 to 2006.

An indefatigable organizer, Olis was actively involved in the development and promotion of Cebu chess by putting up countless tournaments under the aegis of CEPCA in a spread of over two decades.

Even at the height of the pandemic, Olis kept the Cebu chess scene alive and kicking by carrying out CEPCA's series of online tilts bankrolled by US-based Cepcan Josito "Jojo" Dondon and his fellow engineer friends Alex Chua and Gilbert Ababat.

The last events handled by Olis were the 1st Pisay Alumni Open Chess Tournament spearheaded by the US-based Cebuana Woman National Master Susan V. Itaas and the 1st Councilor Rey Gealon Open Chess Tournament just last month.

A CEPCA diehard, he served the longest running chess organization outside of Manila with selfless dedication until his death.

For all that he has done and accomplished, Olis has certainly left behind an enduring legacy.

"Jun’s passing is a great loss not just to his beloved family but also to CEPCA and the entire chess community in Cebu. He was the one behind our CEPCA tournaments and his passion and dedication to chess have greatly contributed to chess development in Cebu. His passing has left an irreplaceable void in our CEPCA family. My thoughts and prayers are with his family in this time of grief. So long my friend Jun!," said CEPCA's longtime president Engr. Jerry Maratas in a statement.

Norman Martin B. Olayvar shares a heart-warming Facebook message for his departed close friend.

"We lost the most beautiful person in our squad, for it pleased the Lord to add one more precious soul to His team," Olayvar stated. "My father in chess, my chess buddy, a very generous person, a comedian, a loving father to his family and most of all a big loss of Chess Community here in Cebu particularly in Lapu-Lapu City as well."

"You shall be remembered for the good you did. Wishing you a gentle rest with our Almighty Father. We will miss you but never forget you. Rest In Peace Apolonio "Jun" Olis. Till we meet again!," Olayvar concluded. — (FREEMAN)

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