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Friday, April 19, 2024

Looking for more ‘Manok ng Bayan’

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This one’s rare. It’s not my style to praise someone using my writing platform. But I also I find it a sin to not appreciate and thank someone for doing good for the sports we love.

I felt the need to express this so that people may know that during this hard days of the COVID-19 pandemic, someone out is there willing to extend a helping hand for Filipino athletes and Philippine sports in general.

It’s hard to ignore that someone like Ronald Mascarinas of the famed Chooks-to-Go brand, is willing to spend his own resources to venture into sports development. He needs more than just a pat in the back.

It’s hard to not to notice Chooks’ efforts in putting up a robust 3×3 million-peso program that run for many years and put the country into the world 3×3 world basketball map.

If Mascarinas leaves the 3×3 scene for good, other sports that desperately need help will definitely welcome him and his able sports team of Mel Macasaquit and Mark Sambrano with open arms.

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What makes this award-winning business CEO going? It’s the pure intention of giving pride for our country. To develop more homegrown Pinoy heroes.

Just like his homegrown brand of chicken that supports the likes of Kai Sotto, Kiefer Ravena, Kobe Paras, boxer Eumir Marcial and the Philippine Team Azkals, who are also known as Manok ng Bayan.

We need more sports godfathers like Mascarinas, especially in these hard times of economic slowdown brought about by the pandemic.

The Philippine Sports Commission is finding it hard to completely finance the more than 50 National Sports Associations, especially now that they are preparing to defend the Southeast Asian Games overall crown it won in 2019 at our home turf. More than ever, the PSC needs more help from the private sector.

It looks like Chooks is Philippine sports’ emerging knight in shining armor. Mascarinas revealed that he met with Manny Pacquiao a day before the boxing senator flew to California to train for his upcoming word title fight.

“Together, we plotted the next steps to help other Filipino athletes,” he said.

Aside from supporting topnotch athletes, Chooks is also supporting grassroots chess and basketball—the Philippine VisMin Cup. And definitely more to come.

A few months ago, I remember sending Mel Macasaquit, Ronald’s very able assistant, a very simple message if Chooks can help the national kickboxing team that will train under a bubble set up. Since the PSC is not well funded due to the pandemic, the Samahang Kickboxing ng Pilipinas of which I am part of as executive director and head coach, is forced to look for other sources.

I asked Mel if Chooks can help supply food for the kickboxing athletes. I didn’t have to say it twice.

With a pro-active, well-meaning team behind him, Mr. Mascarinas is on the right path.

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