Accidental golfer keeps MIGC in tip-top shape

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

BRIG. Gen. Rodante Joya (ret) remembers the day he decided to be a golfer.

It was Nov. 30, 1989 and he was stationed at Camp Villamor when the last of the nine coups was launched against then President Cory Aquino.

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After the coup died down, Joya, who was into competitive pistol shooting that time, told himself, "Ayoko na mag barilan! Palagi na lang tayong nagbabarilan, golf na lang ako."

And that started a journey that took him to his current job, as general manager of the Mactan Island Golf and Country Club (MIGC), Cebu's only public course.

He's the first full-time manager of the course, a post he has held for four years.

"We have civilian supervisors and this team is augmented by some military men who also provide us support," said Joya.

The club has 430 civilian members. It is also one of the most affordable, with a monthly membership fee of P750.

It also attracts tourists from around the world, mostly from East Asia.

Right now, Joya is busy overseeing the improvements of the Par 72 course, which include changing the orientation of the Par 3 and Par 5 holes, extending the greens and improving the lakes.

Joya said they don't have a budget for the improvement, spending only what the club earns.

"We also get a lot of help. We have friends who lend us all the equipment," said Joya.

Ongoing major developments include the construction of fairways that optimize the safety of players and new lockers with shower rooms that offer golfers an area for storage and relaxation.

Joya also plans to put up a water treatment facility that will turn the waste water from Mepz into a useable and bacteria-free supply for the greens.

Curiously, Joya said the El Niño phenomenon contributed to the fast tracking of the course's development.

"The canals got drained and we were able to work on them because of the El Niño," said Joya.

Joya said the comments of the tourists who have played in Mactan before made all the improvements worth it.

"Some of them say, 'Before, Mactan very bad, now, Mactan, very good,'" Joya said. "Some Europeans also said that we are doing everything right, while locals say, 'Pahirap ng pahirap, so paganda ng paganda.'" (Cheska Marie D. Geli, UP Intern)

Accidental golfer keeps migc tip top shape

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