Friday, December 12, 2008

Filipino Athletes Other Than Pacquiao

I seem to be gettig traffic from some anonymous posters lately so I have decided to limit comments to people brave enough to share their identity.

The cause of this traffic was about the post I made about Manny Pacquiao. Some people seem to have not gone past the title and started commenting without much care on what the blog was all about. It was written to incite people to think - why was Manny getting all the brouhaha while the other athletes are not? Why do people think that he is the only one we've got?

Because of the comments posted there (and the FACT that Manny Pacquiao IS NOT the only one who brought glory to the Philippines), I have decided to come up with a list of Filipino atheletes who have made it in the international arena:

(NOTE: Just because someone competes in Japan only does not mean that he competed with asians only)

1. Paeng Nepomuceno - the all-time greatest international bowler with six world championships to his credit. Owns the distinction of being "Greatest Filipino Athlete of All Time", "Athlete of the Century", and "International Bowling Athlete of the Millennium." (

2. Bong Coo - "Asia's Bowling Queen", most awarded female Filipino athlete in history, having won 107 national and international titles including two world titles, one World Cup and five Asiad gold medals. She set three world records in consecutive FIQ World Championships in 1979 and 1983 and one world record in 1979 World Cup. (

3. Efren "Bata" Reyes - four time 8-ball World Champion, won two gold medals in the 20th Southeast Asia Games, 1999 Athlete of the Year. In its December 21, 2001 issue, the prestigious Time Magazine has included Reyes in its roster world's best in sports and described him as the Philippines' "sole bona fide international sports superstar". (

4. Django Bustamante - considered the world's number one billiard player because of the string of victories he won in the United States, Europe, Japan and the Philippines. The US magazine "Billiards Digest" also named him as the Player of the Year for 1998. Django has bagged the World Pool Masters Championship twice (1998 and 2001). Other international tournaments he has won over the years include the Camel Pro Billiards Series, ESPN Champion of Champions, Japan Open 9-ball event, Peninsula 9-Ball Open, Riviera Hotel Pro- 8-Ball Open Championship in Las Vegas, All-Japan Championship, and IBC 9-Ball. Despite the death of her young daughter, Bustamante placed second behind Earl Strickland of the United States in the World 9-Ball Championship held in Cardiff, Wales in July 2002. In October of the same year, Django together with Antonio "Nikoy" Lining won a gold medal in the 9-ball doubles event of the Asian Games in Busan, South Korea. (

5. Onyok Velasco - nearly clinched the country's first Olympic gold medal in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics when he slugged it out with Bulgarian Daniel Bojilov in the light-flyweight finals. The controversial bout led to Velasco bringing home the silver medal. Before this, Velasco was one of the three Filipino boxers who clinched gold medals in the 1994 Asian Games held in Hiroshima, Japan. ( Onyok lost clearly not out of lack of passion

6. Malcolm Tuñacao - the only reigning Filipino world boxing champion in the year 2000. At 21 years old, Tuñacao grabbed the World Boxing Council (WBC) flyweight crown from a Thai boxer in Bangkok on May 21, 2000 and was able to defend it for the rest of the year. (

7. Melvin Magramo - On February 14, 1998, Melvin Magramo defeated a Thai champion to retain his World Boxing Organization (WBO) flyweight crown in front of 10,000 Filipino fans in Las Pinas City. (

8. Joma Gamboa - On December 4, 1999, Joma Gamboa knocked out a Japanese fighter in Nagoya, Japan to become the World Boxing Association (WBA) minimum weight (105 pounds) champion. He defeated a Venezuelan boxer in August 2000 but lost the title to another Japanese opponent in December of that year. (

9. Eric Chavez - crowned the International Boxing Federation (IBF) mini flyweight champion of the world, September 1989. (

10. Frankie Miñoza - is a Filipino golfer and perhaps the Philippines' best golfer in recent years. At one point in his professional career, he managed to reach number 52 in the world rankings of golf (

Just as these athletes have won and lost and replaced by another one, so will Manny Pacquiao be. He is NOT the only one we've got. When the time comes for him to retire, will the Philippines suffer? No, because someone better would come our way.

Our Filipino athletes never lose because of lack of passion. They would not even be able to compete in the Olympics if they lack the passion. One could say that they were overwhelmed by the feeling of competing in the national arena but they have been doing this (competing worldwide) for some time that I don't think they would still feel overwhelmed. (see

This is also something worth reading and might just reflect why sometimes some athletes get disheartened:

...and this is where the lack of funding and foretought comes in:;lang=eng;article=16
and also

....and to those who feel that our athletes lack the passion, read this first:,013d,66ec4f.html

....and there's a whole lot more if you would ask Mr. Google.


Monday, December 8, 2008

Manny Pacquiao and the Sorry State of Philippine Sports

Before posting any comment, please read the whole article. Try to understand it...

Manny Pacquiao won the "fight of his life", or so they say. Right from the start, people were saying that he was the underdog. I, for one, do not like the brouhaha over Manny Pacquiao. Sure he has brought a lot of honor and glory for the Filipino people. But then again, seeing his face everyday on every newspaper, billboard ad, TV commercial (and even TV shows) would make you wonder, why is he getting all of these?

I know that, somewhere, the members of the Philippine team who competed in the Beijing Olympics are hoping that they too would get even a small portion of the exposure that Manny Pacquiao is getting. Before Manny's fight, a number of establishments sent out ads for a paid viewing of that fight. Everyone was saying that Manny would win. If my memory serves me right, nobody ever said that the Philippine Team would bring home the gold during the olympics. Did this lack of belief in our own team somehow cause the Philippine Team's 'downfall'?

And what about the other sports? What about golf? What about billiards? Bowling? Most people I know do not even know who Frankie Miñoza is.

I sure hope that we are not forgetting the other athletes in our country. Manny Pacquiao is not the only one that we have.


Monday, December 1, 2008

A Filipino Stranded in Bangkok

It's been a while since I posted a blog. I have just heard news about what's happening in Thailand. Well, I actually 'read' the news. I only got to know about after a few people in our mailing list began exchanging letters about being stranded there. One of those unfortunate Filipinos who were trapped inside the airport is our esteemed colleague Mr. Danilo Pancho, the Vice President for Human Resources of Edward Keller Philippines. Much of the email exchanges were about how the Philippine Embassy has been slow in helping the stranded Filipinos. Out of all those email exchanges, one caught my attention (and my heart) prompting me to share it to anyone who would care to read. Here is what Ms. Josephine Fernandez had to say:
Ka Dan! So you are there!

In 2004 I
was in the US for a training
and I was with a Thai. He was all praises for
Thaksin for having the business
acumen to steer the country away from the
ravages of the asian financial crisis.
Our US and European colleagues were
all in agreement. The 2 Japanese in the
group were quiet - they had doubts,
I found that out at dinner that night but they
did not want to
offend. I was the bold one to ask if no Thai is doubting
discreet ways which might lead to an uprising once the disadvataged
cry foul. He noted the Filipinos abilities to go to the streets
the at the snap of a finger and chart a historic givernment change. He
was, oh, so certain, it won't happen in Thailand. No one dares to go to the
streets out of respect for their King who loves peace. If a Thai
grumbles, that's just in the
confines of his heart and home. Never shown in
public. So he

Last Thursday, I talked to Somnuk (this
Thai I referred to
above who has become a close friend over the years). He
called to tell me how
disappointed he has become of what is happening to his
country. He was still
optimistic even after Thaksin was ousted. so I
asked what has happened? He
simply said, this time the anti-government
forces are wearing the royal
color - yellow. That is an answer
sufficient for me to understand what is

Ka Dan, I
want to apologize to you for our
government as a private
citizen. Civil service has yet to
understand their roles.

But each time I travel, I tend to love our
country more (to
the chagrin of my husband who has lived his life mostly in the
continents). We do things better than the rest when it comes to
securing our
country from terrorists, when it comes to holding an uprising, whe
it comes
to dealing with the most heated debates (we gnash our teeth to
but never throw water or punches at each other in public, and we
save more
lives in the deadliest situations minus all the sophistication. Why am
saying this? Our country's "ako muna bago ang lahat" culture allows each
Filipino to stretch his own abilities and capabiltiies to save
himself in
almost all circumstances - emerging with a strong
character nothing can
just break. So we survive the odds without much
help. We have solid and
built-in survivial kit, courtesy of an
insignificant government. That't why as
the world falls into a
recession, we Filipinos can simply listen to
all intellectual
discourses but hardly our heart skips a beat even if the worse is already at our
gates. We are confident we can pick up the pieces faster
anyone. We are astonished how trivial things (maning-mani lang sa
Pinoy) disturb the develop countries.