No more recreation at Baseline

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014


CEBU lost a 40-year landmark to the roaring real estate industry.

Baseline Restaurant and Recreation Center on Juana Osmena St., a place for good food, functions and sport facilities, has stopped its operations last February to give way to a 16-story building on the 1.6-hectare property complex.

Although some of its facilities are still operational, the ongoing construction of a building that will produce 170 condominium units shooed away customers who continued to patronize its amenities.

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“It is such a pity that we lost a historic place to modernization. A place where Cebuanos has grown to, and loved. Baseline would always be a part of our lives,” Sports Communicators Organization of the Philippines (Scoop)-Cebu Chapter president Bobby Inoferio told Sun.Star Cebu.

Scoop-Cebu held a weekly forum at Baseline Restaurant every Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. since 1999 until the time it ceased operations.

“Scoop is thankful for the Cañizares family. To sir (Isidoro) Doring, the late sir (Alfonso) Ponsoy, because of their selflessness. They allowed Scoop-Cebu free use of its function rooms and even served us snacks for free, for 15 years. It’s just sad that we lost it, because it has been a part of our lives for more than 40 years,” Inoferio continued.

Pelotadium

First known to be Cebu’s Super Courts Pelotadium, it was built in 1973 with four pelota courts and a clubhouse to pelota enthusiasts. An archery range and two open tennis courts were built the following year.

The tennis courts was the venue for professionals to unwind and sweat it out nightly, and one of its major tournaments it hosted included the national championships held in 2008.

A year later, an open basketball and volleyball courts were added, while billiard, dart and chess tournaments were frequently hosted at the clubhouse area.

In 1976, the clubhouse was reconstructed to give way to a restaurant that specialized in Continental and Filipino cuisines that gave birth to its present name-Baseline Restaurant and Recreation Center.

When the pelota craze came to an end, the courts were converted into a PRT Gym where weights workout was introduced first to the Cebuanos.

Expansion building

A dance studio that taught ballet, Hawaiian dance and modern jazz classes was added in 1978. It was later converted into an aerobics center seven years later. A boxing gym was added in 1982; the Sideline Restaurant was added in 1985 for patrons who wanted a garden setting. Cebu’s first martial arts school, the Tae Kwon Do Center, was built in 1986; a Kali-Arnis gym in 1987; an expansion building that features function rooms, ballroom, roof deck, Olympic hall and main dining area for its restaurant operations was built in 1990.

The ballroom was the venue where simultaneous games were held between four chess grandmasters Eugene Torre, Walter Arencibia of Cuba, Jaime Sunye-Neto of Brazil and Carlos Juarez of Guatemala against Cebuano chess players that was organized by the Cebu Executives and Professionals Chess Association.

Aside from Scoop-Cebu Forum, Baseline was also a regular venue of the Maginoo Lions Club monthly meetings.

“We may have lost (Baseline) to the changes of modernization, but it left us good memories. Memories of old friends, meetings, good food and fine dining. A venue for functions. Yet, it has served its time. Give way to development for a more productive use,” said Virginia Foods Inc. President Felix Tiukinhoy Jr.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 18, 2014.

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