Honor the city’s living legends PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 02 June 2015 08:20

Table Talk

BY Mike S Apostol

In a friendly conversation during dinner at the residence of Mr. Lope Iringan of Medika Industries who celebrated Fiesta Barangay Pasonanca last Sunday, many agree that Zamboanga City must also honor those Zamboanguenos who gave honor to the city in the national scene, not only in sports but in all endeavors where they excel. I sat on a table occupied by Lope, Daniel “Ging” Evangelista, former Congressman Erbie Fabian, Dr. Ocampo, former city mayor now water district board president Engr. Efren Aranez and City Administrator Antonio Orendain Jr. In another table not far away from us is gracious host Rose Iringan and her friends. It was a gathering of golfers, masons and businessmen. To go with the sumptuous dinner prepared by the Iringans was the topic above.

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Indeed something must be done to bestow honor to individuals whose contribution to uplift the name of the city is written in the annals of history but are not properly recognized. The city of Zamboanga owe gratitude to those individuals who gave their best for Zamboanga City. The discussion led to the past glory of City Administrator Jun Orendain in Basketball, when many years ago he was the first Zamboangueno coach of Meralco Basketball Team in Manila. Also it was gathered that Boy Marquez, of the Marquez family in Tetuan, was the youngest Olympian of the country in Basketball. Boy Marquez was so popular and valuable player that he played basketball with basketball legend Carlos Loyzaga and he played with the champion team of his time, the Puyat steel in Manila. Even retired city sports officer  Mr. Jun Largo gave honors to the city also in Basketball in the cities of Cebu and Manila. In the field of Journalism, Mr. Antonio Enriquez was a Palanca Awardee, a prestigious award in Journalism for short story. These are only some of the living legends in Zamboanga City and many more, that should be honored and recognized by the city government for their rare prowess and feat

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It is obvious that the city is emphasizing more on the social side like beauty pageants, street dancing, and barangay beautification. We relegated on the sidelines individuals, who gave national honors to the city that money cannot buy. French thinker Lafayette once said “ a man who forgot his past cannot draw the course of his future”. We should honor these living legends as an inspiration to the youths of the city to also excel in their chosen sports. Without an objective for honor and be honored, sports program in the city will just be another project.

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The City Government should support the sports program where our youths can excel like, basketball, swimming, soccer football, boxing and other indoor sports. Bigger city budgets must be allocated for sports program and development. If the city can feed a hundred thousand calamity victims with a budget of over a million pesos of public funds and whose beneficiaries are strangers to the city with insatiable demands, sports development is a better option because it has a return on those investments (ROI).

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Honor our living sports legends for the city owes them gratitude. Besides all these years they have shown professional attitude, with no envy and rancor to the city government that they have helped build even if they were annoyed and relegated to the sidelines. If the city government cannot honor them, perhaps some charitable private organizations, businessmen and professional organizations will be willing to help honor our living legends.

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Scoop: Most of our living sport legends came from the Ateneo de Zamboanga, some from Zamboanga AE Colleges now Universidad de Zamboanga and Southern City Colleges. Right now sports development in those schools are given less attention or none at all, Why? Perhaps these private school officials must redirect their sports objective, bring back the old sports in Zamboanga, where inter-school basketball game was a school activity, attendance was checked and cheering squads was a coveted group, because the handsome, sexy and beautiful are the members. On top of this when a school team wins the game, tomorrow is a holiday. Can the schools do that now? instead of only planning for tuition fee hikes? Think of it my friends.