06/13/14 01:32:20 PM
The Independence Day was the very important holiday for the citizens of Republic of the Philippines. It was indeed the date which showcased one of the most pivotal events in the history of this country–our independence of the three-century colonization of then-European imperialist Spain.
It was every June 12th of the year when several events were held in observance of our Independence day, such as job fairs, the annual rituals of giving tributes and respect to RP's official signs, and even advocacy-driven rallies and concerts.
Though most of them were on the political and artistic themes, no one seemed to put a hand on sports. It's like everyone forgotten something–that is to pay tribute to the people who made recognition through the means of playing the physical (and mental) activities in life called “sports.”
This is what the objective of a veteran sports-beat journalist and former commissioner of the now-defunct Philippine Basketball League (PBL) Chino Trinidad when he waged a sporting tribute event called “Pagpupugay”at the Newport Performing Arts Theater located inside the Newport Mall of Resorts World Manila on Thursday evening, which by the way was also the Independence Day (June 12).
Prior to the main event, the organizer himself put up a Memorabilia Exhibit on the Newport Mall's Ground Floor, which runs from June 1 to 15. Yours truly have seen some of the most precious things which these athletes brought to the country alongside their highest pride, from medals to uniforms to even the ball they used during the 1954 World Basketball Championships in Brazil (and don't be confused though, 'coz for your information: soccer was the ball used during the early decades of basketball).
Aside from the literally memorabilia, some of the artworks were part of the exhibit such as paintings from Anthony Galvez, Jun Aquino, and the gigantic King Caloy sculpture by Reynald Bon Mujeres.
It was near six in the evening when people started to flock the venue's lobby (which situated on the mall's third floor). Stars from past to the present and from all sorts of sports were there along with their supportive families and friends. Aside from them, personnel from both the mainstream and new media were in attendance to witness the star-studded evening.
The formal show started around eight in the evening, with veteran sports broadcaster Sev Sarmenta serving as the anchor alongside organizer Chino Trinidad.
From there, several Philippine-raced athletes were given tributes, with some of them represented by their respective families. In particular order:
Pancho Villa (tribute presented by Denver Cuello)
2nd – football: Paulino Alcantara (Chieffy Calindong)
3rd – swimming: Teofilo Yldefonzo (Eric Buhain)
4th – track and field: Simeon Toribio (Elma Muros-Posadas)
5th – track and field: Miguel White
6th – boxing: Ceferino Garcia
7th – tennis: Felicisimo Ampon (Felix Barrientos)
8th – golf: Ben Arda
9th – boxing: Anthony Villanueva
10th – boxing: Gabriel "Flash" Elorde
11th – chess: Eugene Torre
12th – bowling: Rafael “Paeng” Nepomuceno
13th – bowling: Olivia “Bong” Coo
14th – billiards: Efren “Bata” Reyes (Francisco “Django” Bustamante)
15th – bowling: Arianne Cerdeña
16th – boxing: Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco (brother Roel)
17th – bowling: Lita Delas Alas (Coo and Cerdeña)
18th – basketball: Carlos Loyzaga (also, selected past members of the Philippine Basketball team; present: PBA player Chris Tiu and Marc Pingris of Gilas Pilipinas).
(Other tribute presenters were Sev Sarmenta and Chino Trinidad)
However, as the program was about to give tribute for Loyzaga, Trinidad broke the news that the basketball player known as “The Great Difference,” never made it to the venue and was instead confined to Cardinal Santos Medical Center, though the former commissioner quoted that his condition was nothing serious.
Going back, as the ceremonial rites rolled during the evening, emotions poured around some of the industry's key personnel; specifically, one of them was on the segment about the boxer Anthony Villanueva, whom passed away a few weeks prior to the event. He bared the trust fund intended for the boxer who just passed away a month ago, and vowed he will never let another misery on any Filipino athlete pass by.
He also announced the first beneficiary of the trust fund were the former boxer and now COPD fighter in Leopoldo Serantes.
In addition, several members of the London Paralympic teams, as well as the mentally-impaired-but-winning Filipino athletes, members of the Philippine Army, young football players (students of Calindong), and other vintage athletes—both in good form or in deteriorating condition—were given recognition.
The Manila Philharmonic Orchestra, led by conductor Sebastian Trinidad, provided the musical scoring, with the Mandaluyong Children's Choir providing the vocal accompaniment; and the Resorts World's resident band The Draybers providing the rocking color, with The Voice Philippines' winner Mitoy Yonting as the front man.
Overall, the program rolled for almost two and a half hours, with the post-program set slated for photo ops, autograph sessions and even interview questions fielded by both broadcast, journalism and online media. Yours truly though was grateful to meet several personalities, including Ramon “El Presidente” Fernandez, and “The Dean” Quinito Henson, and Chino Trinidad, to name a few.
The downside though is that I never knew some of the classic athletes our country ever had, like for instance, I never noticed it was Bong Coo until she was introduced (perhaps the photos between my old Sibika book and the present one could really tell the difference), and even Yoyong Martirez and Danny Florencio, whose happened to be seated next to me minutes before the program started (I moved since my friend whose invited me to the “Pagpupugay” came). Alright, I know, I suck at that point.
Anyway, the program had its own good cause. I think there should be a second “Pagpupugay” soon since we still have a lot of world-class athletes who excelled very well.
Post-script: Before I formally culminate this post, I would like to give a shout out to one of my friends who blogs as the SportyGuy. He was the one who invited me for this prestigious event.
Author: slickmaster | ©2014 september twenty-eight productions