Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Fair Play: Playing Santa this Christmas

IT’S Christmas Eve! That time of the year when you get to stay up really late and open your gifts—whether you’ve been nice or not so nice.

In the spirit of Christmas, and since giving is better than receiving, Fair Play made the rounds and asked some of the notable names in Cebu sports what they would give if they get to play Santa this year, with the white hair, beard and tummy and all.

First, one of Cebu City Council’s most passionate sports fans, Jack “The Wack” Jakosalem said, “If I were Santa, I would construct the most beautiful mega sports center in the country at SRP and hire a pool of expert trainers for all the major
sports we excelled at in the past, present and those we are just starting to excel in now.”


Wow. A mega sports center at SRP? Hmmm, would another LGU try to outbid Santa Jack for his gift? Ooops. It’s Christmas. Let’s spread the love.

A mega sports center would mean Cebu gets to have a slice of the sports tourism pie. It’s the biggest draw out there. And since the NBA is reaching out to Asia, a game between the Boston Celtics and the LA Lakers in Cebu’s mega sports center wouldn’t be farfetched. Quick! Somebody help Santa Jack build that facility!

And speaking of sports facilities, this is what Ricky Ballesteros has to say, “A new international standard rubberized track oval, new facilities at the sports center where athletes will be trained, and hopefully, a chance to host the Palarong Pambansa and future international competitions.”

It’s been 14 years since the Palarong Pambansa touched base in Cebu, and I guess it’s about time that Cebu hosts the event again.

On the other hand, Michael Aldeguer of ALA Promotions said, “If I were Santa, I would make sure that less fortunate kids would be given a chance to achieve their dreams through sports and give them all the support they need because they are the future.”

Though it’s quite hard to imagine Santa Mike double his weight, with a white hair and beard, and in a red suit, anyone who’s been in the sprawling boxing compound of the Aldeguers, who are an icons in Cebu sports, can see how they try to make the boxing dreams of scores of kids come true.

And if you want dreams, the passion that drives Team Cebu City Dancesport, Ed Hayco, has the ultimate, “The Mt. Everest of sports is the Olympics. It would be such a great honor that an athlete from Cebu would win that elusive gold medal. That would be the most beautiful Christmas gift of all Cebu sports. And it will take a pure heart and a passionate soul to realize this dream! May all of us be blessed with such.”

The Philippines had the embarrassing achievement of a triple, triple zero in the Sydney, Athens and Beijing Olympiads and an Olympic gold medal is long overdue. And to have a Cebuano end that drought would put Cebu in the global sporting map.

Before we could achieve that, the football Santa, Jonathan Maximo, said his gift will be “a Cebu Sports Institute similar to the world-famous Australian Sports Institute, to be composed of passionate and competent Cebuano leaders who will chart Cebu as the next sports capital of the country!”

We also need this one from Felix Tiukinhoy, “If I were Santa, I would give Cebu sports more leaders in various fields of sports who are committed to serve and ask ‘what’s in it from me?’ rather than ‘what is in it for me?’ More service-oriented leaders whose focus is ‘what more can I give?’ rather than ‘what can I get?’”

Merry Christmas everybody and remember, if the Big Guy in the Red Suit forgot to drop you a gift, fret no more, Christmas is about you, and me, and everybody else and that four letter word—love. So, spread it.

(mikelimpag@gmail.com)

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