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The children of Tondo and the affluence of Subic

Last weekend had me embracing the best of both worlds.

It was a realization of a noble task that came about following a spontaneous chat about President Duterte’s candidacy launch in Tondo three years back.

It was a promised fulfilled by Philippine Sports Commission Chairman Butch Ramirez, who was then part of Duterte’s campaign team, to return to the place that was used by the President in making a perfect example of what poverty looks like.

There was only barely a week to prepare everything.

But time constraints were not a problem when effective, able individuals worked together like a symphony orchestra, churning out a seamless performance such as the Children’s Games Sports for Peace.

Atty. Guillermo Iroy and Paul Ycasas of the PSC mobilized their group in an instant; area coordinator Cezar Pradas activated the local barangay officials in Tondo and Go Pilipinas Go’s Matt Ardina got his team going. And Arsenic Lacson proved to be an efficient chief of the Parks Development Office of the City of Manila.

Thus, on an early Saturday morning, Ramirez and his crew came to the Amado Hernandez Plaza, in front of the renown Sto. Nino church and treated more than 300 Tondo kids to fun games with free uniforms, breakfast and lunch for all of them and their siblings.

“It was just the start,” said Ramirez, who promised to do more sports project for Tondo. “The President promised to do something for the people of Tondo.”

It was more than just fun.

PSC Commissioner Ramon Fernandez, a famous basketball player in his prime, also gave an inspirational talk to the young participants, urging them to dream big, study hard, stay away from trouble and turn their life around.

 Opposite world

As this happened, I was monitoring the event from Subic in Zambales, taking calls in between putts and drives at the scenic courses of the Subic International Golf Club inside SBMA.

I was part of the Manila Standard golf team that engaged a bunch of businessmen, who calls themselves the Three-Unders, in a friendly tournament arranged by Subic Smart Community Corporation, a Japanese company that runs the vastly improved golf course.

We were given a taste of what it feels like to challenge what this Subic golf jewel has to offer.

Having played with various courses media tournaments in Metro Manila, Batangas and Cavite, this Subic course possesses a uniqueness that’s hard to explain.

The course was generally tricky but not so much difficult to tackle. Like the par-4 2nd hole that offers a dogleg right covered by trees on a hill requiring a perfectly placed tee-shot before proceeding to an slightly uphill fairway.

“It was like a blind curve,” described teammate Mon Tomeldan, our Manila Standard’s managing editor.

The Subic Golf Club was more than just a golf course, though.

The clubhouse, covered by giant glass panels, offers a refreshing sight of the green forest and lush mountains, with a man-made lake in front.

The all-women team of caddies sets the club apart from the others.

They are all college graduates recruited from different schools in Subic. So expect them to engage the players in professional banters. They can effectively assist players in reading the course and lining your putts.

And yes, they can laugh, too.

 The next time you drive to Subic, check this course out with your family as the club is open to walk-in guests.

 And wait till this 7,200 yard, par-72 course completes its renovation, it will surely turn itself into a favorite weekend golfing destination.

Topics: Philippine Sports Commission , Butch Ramirez , Subic Golf Club , Subic International Golf Club
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