Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Fair Play: Future journalists and interrupted thoughts

(I was mentally composing this in the cab but my thoughts were interrupted by a lovers’ program the cab’s radio was tuned on. The words stuck, my apologies—ML) 

WHEN I was in high school, my name came out in the national papers’ sports section thrice and they all got it wrong, one so horribly wrong. 

Hilo Papa ___? Mangita ko’g tiksmeyt, bahala’g dili gwapo basta nursing…. 

During a national sportswriting contest, I placed third, (insert smug smiley) my name came out as Limpao. Then in a football match, me, the scorer was identified as Michael Limpay, and in the same tournament a year later, I was identified as Michael Limpas—and worse, I wasn’t even playing as I was no longer eligible. 

How in the world could a spectator become the winning goal scorer? I’ve always wondered about that. How can they get the name wrong? 

But back in 2000, I sort of learned the answer myself. 

Describe yourself daw. Aw, just enough. Unsa na siya? In da midol ba, di kaayo pangit, di kaayo gwapa pero maayo… 

In a football tournament, me and the referee (he had such a horrible penmanship) were arguing about the spelling of the goalscorer, he opted for “Siaotong,” while I chose, “Sigatona.”I learned the exact spelling after a phone call the next day from the parent. 

And in another golf tournament, the champion had to rush to the Sun.Star newsroom the next day after I relegated him to third place, while a lucky schmuck found himself the accidental winner. 

Estudyante pa ka? Depende, kung ganahan ka’g istudint, magpatahe ra ko’g uniform. Asa ta mag met? Pagchur oy, met man dayon, describe sa you. 


Today, there will be a forum on Reaching out to Future Journalists as part of the celebration of the Cebu Press Freedom Week. 

It is limited to Mass Comm students and I was hoping others can join. You see, in sports journalism, while a related college degree is good (and we have a few Mass Comm graduates who have made it nicely), a creative mind is more important in the job. 

How can you present something which most die-hard fans already know in an interesting and new way is a struggle good writers face and mediocre ones ignore everyday. While some opt to do it the lazy way, others walk the extra mile. While others write mere results, or praise releases, the good writers tell the story. 

News reporters are constrained with what happens, in sports stories, a simple shot could be "one that defines a legacy," or a simple loss could be "one that shattered a nation's hope for relief from mediocrity." 

So to Mass Comm students, the future journalists, take a shot at sportswriting, besides, when the barnyard dung hits the ceiling in the front pages, people turn to the comic strips and sports pages for relief. 

E-MAILS. My report on how the Pacquiao vs. De La Hoya fight ended last Saturday attracted a few replies. 

Achilles Mina ( wrote “Your ‘How Pacquiao defeated De La Hoya on Dec. 6 was hilarious! And well-worded too. 

Now if only can divine the end of Arroyo et al,” 

Thanks for the kind words Achilles and I'm sorry, according to the site's admin, due to the complex nature of politics and politicians, the most advanced telecast they can show of future political fights is only those six hours away. A pity. 

Thanks also to the e-mails from Joe Kanoy (, Tony Tone ( and ( 

Tard yir narsing, Gwapo-gwapo gamay, medyo taas sad. Oy, unsa size imo sapatos? Nine. Ka nice, met ta karon dayon. 


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