Choosing Ramon Fernandez as chef de mission of the 2021 Southeast Asian Games is a super smart move.
Make no mistake about it. Naming the PSC Commissioner as CDM of the Vietnam 2021 Southeast Asian Games is a well-thought plan, and there’s plenty of justification behind that decision. It wasn’t easy though, but it was a natural decision as though a switch has been turned on and there’s no two ways about it.
Actually, I see two major reasons (there may be more, but I don’t see it now), on why the consensus fell on Fernandez’s lap. The first is obvious: Fernandez is first and foremost, considered family of one of the country’s top private sector backers—San Miguel Corp.
Family here means Fernandez’s stature as a former franchise player of San Miguel Corporation. During his prime, Fernandez won four MVP awards and was later named as one of only 25 greatest basketball players to ever handle a basketball. During his prime, Fernandez was a demigod, whose basketball skills and quiet demeanor are adored by thousands.
In his retirement, his name had become synonymous with greatness, grace and gravitas.
Thus even when he became commissioner of an experimental league in the MBA, his name didn’t lose its luster. Later, he became a budding sports official, thanks to his close association with PSC Chairman William Ramirez.
But I digress a bit.
Because he is a member of the San Miguel Beer family, and because it takes care of its family, it is safe to assume that SMC patriarch Ramon S. Ang will have Fernandez’s back as CDM of the SEA Games. Thus, it becomes a matter on the extent of support SMC will give the Filipino athletes through Fernandez’s representation.
Recently, as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility, SMC converted some of its beer breweries into alcohol-producng facility and even ventured into making PPEs for frontliners. We can expect the same when it comes to protecting our athletes.
The second reason, I dare say, is that Fernandez was handpicked for the job not only as a CDM, but as an SMC ambassador at large, which means that he will be in Vietnam to ensure that SMC products get first look and get noticed. With him as CDM, is is easy to assume that more SMC products will be exposed to the Southeast Asian market. While there, he can also help SMC people negotiate for concession agreement for the company’s soon-to-be opened Bulacan international airport. I suspect that even as I write this, SMC has ben laying the groundwork for such.
Finally, if Fernandez plays this right, he will soon inherit Chairman Ramirez’s job, as PSC chair, with the former making a run for a Senate seat in the near future.