Giving back PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 09 April 2018 11:43

By Remedios F. Marmoleño

The Easter Sunday issue of DZT had an item announcing the  start of the registration for the  Learn to Play A Sport Program.  I became nostalgic remembering how Ricardo A. Marmoleño started the program on his own many years back.

Ric was actively involved in soccer while in high school and in college.  This gave him the benefit of going through college on a sports scholarship and also playing for the William Lines soccer team which then Congressman William Chiongbian maintained on  his own. It was  Ric’s connection with the William Lines team that gave  Ric and two ( ?) others from the same team to qualify for the Philippine soccer team which played in the Asian Games in Tokyo. The PH team did not come out champion but Ric liked to say afterwards that at least they beat Japan.

He never forgot the advantages he received in life because of his  involvement in sports in his younger days and this moved him to get young people to become interested in sports.

One summer many years back  Ric had the idea of starting the Learn to Play a Sport Program. Several sports were included- soccer, basketball, baseball, judo and many others. People who were themselves engaged in the different sports made themselves available to train the young people in their particular sport. Although the program was Ric’s  own private initiative he was supported by benefactors and sponsors-  his friends in Rotary and  in business,  Coca-Cola and the like, and some City officials, especially Mrs. Caling Lobregat who was Mayor at the time.

Swimming was never a sport Ric engaged in  as a young  man but in  one occasion  he met Col. Arsenio de Borja, the president of the Phil Amateur Swimming Association (PASA), who encouraged  him to help promote swimming in          Zamboanga. Eventually Ric became PASA’s VP for Mindanao and swimming  became one of the sports included in his sports promotion program. It was always a delight to me to see  young people  come running to Ric when we were out and they would give him our beautiful Filipino way of “mano po” greeting. These young people were those who had learned to swim in the summer swimming program that Ric organized or who learned to swim in the swimming pool Ric built with his own personal funds.

Over time the summer program had more and more participants and  Ric realized that it was time to turn over the program to younger blood. For one reason or another the summer program Ric started waned,  although particular people organized separate learning programs, say basketball or swimming,  on their own.

It is good to know that the Learn to Play a Sport program is being continued. Ric must be looking down from heaven and smiling.