“We will move forward together, or not at all.”
U.S. president Barack Obama said that in his State of the Union address last January 25 (the 26th in Davao), the day that my college buddy, businessman Schmid V. Apat of Minute Burger-Matina Crossing branch was celebrating his Nth birthday.
I chose to borrow the American president’s line as a way of calling members of the Davao City Sports Council to do the same.
Since 1986, the Sports Council, then under Table Tennis Association of the Philippines (Tatap) president and sports philanthropist, the late So Kim Cheng, has effectively done its role in the development of various sports disciplines in partnership with government and non-government organizations.
Mr. So, I remember in one of the meetings at Claypot Restaurant along Uyanguren, would always advocate for unity among various sports leaders in Davao City for this would directly benefit the sport they love, much to the joy, of course, of the athletes, coaches, trainors and sports directors.
His untimely death 17 years ago was a big blow to Davao sports because Mr. So was so respected by local NSA leaders. He had the distinction of not only being the Davao City-based national sports head, but of being helpful to poor athletes.
Davao City councilor Nilo Abellera, then the Philippine Amateur Cycling Association-Davao City commissioner, took over from him, followed by Davao Football Association president Victorio Sai, whose untimely death also led to the taking over by Davao City councilor Peter Lavina of Tatap.
But when Lavina’s term as city legislator expired, various reports indicated that the once strong sports organization has not been functioning properly these days.
Things like this happen when the head of the sports organization is out of political power, unlike in the case of non-political heads who can continue to run the Council with or without government funds.
There are still well-meaning, honest, down-to-earth officials in the sports council who can run things and who have no “baggage” – meaning, they are not involved in sports financial scams in the past nor are known sports scalawags staying close to powerful men and women.
Ladies and gentlemen, for the sake of our athletes and coaches, please move forward.
* * *
Happy birthday to computer wizard Randy Laureano, GMA Davao Kapuso’s Tek Ocampo, dear friend and football supporter Richard A. Roberts, manang Luz Manligas, golf buddy and mentor Chito Malabanan and long-time amiga Elen Evangelista-Ang.