Al S. Mendoza

All Write

YOU can’t find one anywhere.

I’m talking about the APT Cup, a golf tournament held annually at The Orchard in Dasmarinas, Cavite.

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I played in it again last week and, again, each foursome of the 50 teams or so was attired in costumes, from being a reincarnate of Emilio Aguinaldo to being Rizal’s Sisa (for women).

One hole was called the “Typhoon Ondoy,” with the sprinklers on as you hit your tee shot and succeeding shots to reprise the storm’s killer rains.

There’s the Pacquiao Challenge with boxing gloves worn on your drive, plus a hole-in-one bonanza with five holes on one green to aim at for a Mini Cooper.

“We had to screen the field thoroughly to preserve the dignity of the tournament,” said Big Brother Rolly Enriquez.

Yearly since 1996, the chosen participants don different get-ups. No repetition of costumes.

“Yearly, it’s our chance to be children again,” said Art P. Tugade (APT), the gallant, joyful tournament founder, who turned 64 that day (Jan. 8). “The beauty of life is to be forever in touch with what we were once upon a time—as innocent children so happy with the ways of the world.”

Among the distinguished participants were PAL president Jimmy J. Bautista and the former Philippine President himself, Fidel V. Ramos.

Before downing his last pok-tan-ju shot during the awards ceremonies, FVR climbed the stage and said of APT: “I play here because of this great man, APT.

Do you know that he was a child of the streets, a squatter from Tatalon who became a lawyer and a successful businessman? Let’s drink to that!”

Standing ovation.

Fr. Rocky, also a dear friend of Bacolod’s Ramon Uy, of the famed Tuloy Foundation for street children said: “In 1993, I only had 12 kids under my care. Today, I have 670. I spend P3 million a month. I don’t know what magnet Mr. Art P. Tugade has but, through the years, he has been one of the biggest beggars for Tuloy Foundation.”

That night alone, participant Roni Sison donated P100,000 to Fr. Rocky. It was Roni’s prize for a nearest-the-pin feat on No. 14.

If I could read Roni’s mind, he did that “to show my love for APT.”

Here’s to man’s innate goodness.