A Happier New Year to all.
But with two days to go till 2022, this is the time that people look back the past 12 months to see how good or how bad the year has turned out for them.
And in all honesty, if 2021 was a bad year for sports because of the pandemic, it was the same for me. It certainly was a not-so-good year, particularly when talking about personal health.
If you remember, I underwent a surprise quadruple by-pass operation early March as 5 major arteries were found blocked. It was real expensive one and I would not have been able to afford the bill had it not been for a lot of help from relatives and friends, particularly from the world of sports.
Four months later, I got hit by COVID-19, though up to now, I still doubt if I really had one. Nonetheless, I underwent a month-long quarantine in our house, just when I was starting to resume my new normal life.
Then a case of pinched nerves I believe, that I could not walk without pain in my legs. Presently, I am undergoing treatment for a bacterial infection, and I still wonder what did I do to deserve all these?.
But of course, I described the year as being not so good, meaning there was still something to be happy about beside the fact that I am alive and my family is complete.
For one, we had our Ayuda Sa Atleta campaign that we did for national athletes, regular and para athletes, as around 600 athletes from different National Sports Associations benefited from this and received gift packs.
This was a joint effort with other sports people, Tom Carrasco, Nino Sinco, Karen Caballero, and Alex Wang, and of course kind-hearted donors, led by Jean Henri Lhuillier, PHILRACOM, Foton, Alaska, F2 Logistics, Gatorade, Milo, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce, and Tom and Alex themselves.
As I informed Reli de Leon, the excess funds, around P42,000, will be reallocated to other charity works that I am involved with, like in Dolores in Mt. Banahaw area for indigent kids and families done December 10, and street kids in Manila set early January, only because of my ongoing treatment. Otherwise, we would have been done with it already, and now with typhoon Odette victims.
My thanks to Ravi Daryanani for donating brand new babies’ wear for street kids and families.
But what really made my year brighter is that I finally finished a mini book project for sportsman-businessman Alex Wang to chronicle the past 25 years of his Wang’s Ballclub.
I will devote one time a piece on “The Making of a Book” to share with you the one thousand and one things that go with writing a book, even a mini book at that.
Partners in the book project were colleagues Fred Nasiad and Danny Simon, plus Alex himself and his wife and kids, but as I said, the details will be shared with separately.
Anyway, last December 28, we had the official but simple book launching of Basketball, Beyond Passion at the PuNta Resto bar in Mandaluyong with some of Alex’s friends joining us, including bar owners Paolo Bediones and Lara, ex-PBA players Ato Tolentino, Fritz Gaston and Buboy Rodriguez, plus some media people.
Now for the best part, Alex agreed to sell the book for P250 each. Mind you, there was no intention whatsoever to do this before. However, in the light of recent typhoon Odette that affected thousands of people in Mindanao and the Visayas, the decision was made to sell the book with all the proceeds to go to the typhoon victims.
And Alex will match the total sales with his personal contribution. Net effect is people donate P250 and they get a free book, the beneficiaries then get P500 per copy sold.
Fritz and I started it rolling, buying four copies each, and committing to sell to other personal friends and right after I posted it, I got a few orders already, including two high school batchmates abroad and MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos, ex-Crispa amateur player Vito Orcullo, former national archer Nino Sinco and Michael Yulo, just to name a few.
We should be able to sell at least a hundred copies and will course the donations through the Ayala Corporation youth leaders groups with chapters in different affected areas, and sepak takraw national athlete Elly Nituda in Butuan City.
As I said in my Christmas column, it is the season of giving and sharing, and people are responding positively.
Goodbye 2021, hello 2022.