Mendoza: Fil-Am Golf’s winners and losers happy

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By Al S. Mendoza

All Write

Friday, December 6, 2013


BAGUIO CITY— The 43rd Fil-Am Invitational Golf Championship will end today and the 1,000 or so participants will go home with a wealth of memories once more, mostly fond—as always.

It’s been that way since this event had its baptism of fire in 1949.

It was the late actor-turned-senator Rogelio dela Rosa and an American officer whose name escapes me who both initiated the annual friendly match to foster friendship and camaraderie.

The tournament grew through the years, by leaps and bound, so that in 2007, the Fil-Am Golf was declared by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s biggest golf tournament, participant-wise.

Like all endeavors that would grow big beyond expectations, the Fil-Am Golf is not exempted from troubles.

When an event like the Fil--Am Golf becomes so big, heartaches are bound to crop up. Just fine. They can be licked easily, anyways.

Intense competition could sometimes result in animosities between host and guests. Wilbert Uy of Rizgolf Trophy says he knows this fully well.

“Some can’t accept discipline from tournament officials and they leave,” says Wilbert. “Departures don’t mean the end of it.”

Canlubang and Calatagan have left and have yet to return.

But the Fil-Am Golf, an undisputed institution through decades of sustained staging, has survived, has stood even stronger amid storms and tribulations.

One star, one team, even one champ, can never rise above a mountain like the Fil-Am Golf.

Officials and staff from host clubs Baguio Country Club and Camp John Hay only know too well that their template for existence, for moving on, is as solid as the foundations of San Miguel Corp. (SMC) and Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP), the twin major forces that backstopped this year’s Fil-Am Golf Invitational.

In fact, I doff my hat off to Ramon S. Ang, the SMC chieftain, who tossed in millions in a massive support to the Fil-Am Golf’s success.

And, of course, also hat’s off to Michonobu “The Rocker” Sugata, the TMP president, who staked a Toyota car (Vios) for the third straight year.

To the winners, cheers! To the losers, thank you for making others happy.

(alsol47@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 07, 2013.

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