Cagayan De Oro
Saturday, October 23, 2021

Salgados: City of Gold, City of Sports!


There’s a cockroach in my coffee

There’s a needle in my arm

And I feel like Oro’s Sky Bar City

Get me back to Don Carlos farm

Shut up! Make it! Don’t break it, honey

You talk about things that nobody cares...

OH HERE we go again. Live and learn—the shit way—from fools and from sages.

Whoever might think the City of Golden Friendship is not also the City of Diamond Sports must not be in his/her proper frame of mind.

Drop-dead sick and stupidly blind. Or just plainly ill-informed.

I tell you, it may stand and rise again after Sendong. But without sports as key dynamics to encoding the unseen cultural and communal significance around us, Cagayan de Oro will not be able to survive the usual political tremor for the simple reason: Our leaders (past and present) are very into sports and so their constituents in the locality. The Oro population is blissfully infested by the sporting bugs that it’s hard for anyone to function normally without connecting to anything related to sports.

This paper’s ace reporter Alwin Saliring even draws inspiration from the beautiful creation of sports if you know what I mean hehe...

Does our love for peaceful environment and friendliness begets sportsmanship and all? That’s why Cagayan de Oro (please, repeat after me) is called the City of Golden Friendship because the people around are basically cool cats sports-loving meow meow purring into any stress-relieving, if not, fat-burning sports activities of the day.

Until now, Palaro veterans—athletes and coaches alike—would still remember the late Mayor Ambing Magtajas as the real deal when it comes to sports support (from socks to shoes, kalyo to kaspa) that he would even accommodate hungry players to his godly “kitchen house” in Barangay Nazareth without any hesitation.

And some of his predecessors followed suit!

Dongkoy Emano, with all his anti-climactic cigar gestures, never tried to break Ambing’s sports legacy. And so Tinnex Jaraula who also managed to retain the city’s sports program in Asset, otherwise known as Advance Scientific Skills Efficiency Training.

From around a dozen sports disciplines under Asset, it was only incumbent Mayor Oca Moreno who dared to break the Camel’s back , literally leaving the “Asset house” unrecognizable, but still singing the same “ballsy blues” to his heart’s content.

While Moreno fortified his grip in basketball and a little bit in chess, boxing, table tennis and volleyball, his counterpart from the province—the youthful Governor Bambi Emano—has also his own Kuyamis sports program to boost.

Even Congressman Klarex Uy and his Vice Mayor son Kikang are very much into sports the honorable Klarex, for one, would not think it twice to lend a helping hand if any deserving athlete in the community would need it most. Not to be outdone, of course, are the Rodriguez bothers, Rufus and Maxie,

A long time ago, I remember a sports czar from Bacolod—who now settles here for good—took notice of that Cagayan de Oro has about 40 existing ball clubs that he immediately initiated the first ever Southland Inter-Ballclub tourney at Liceo de Cagayan University gym.

That epic battle in the final was won in thrilling fashion by the `Baby James’ Abucejo-mentored Ballpals over Subokin. Modesty-aside, I’m lucky enough to be among the naughty dogs of the champion team anchored by the tournament MVP Baloy Fernandez, the Abacahin brothers, Darwin Josol, Nanie Palacio, Pinggoy Castro, Bobby Diaz, Chico Maravilla, Kid Escobido, Bado Legaspi and Ferdie Roa, among others.

Other than basketball, boxing (Milan Melindo, Jason Pagara), lawn tennis (Francis Casey Alcantara), table tennis (Ian Lariba), chess (Balquin and recently the Canino siblings) are just among the sporting noise in the city, still creating a buzz every now and then.

And don’t you know that sports has catapulted the Green CdeO as one of the influential Eagles clubs in Northern Mindanao?

Matter-of-factly, there’s just so much to talk and write about in CdeO sports that could fill in a couple of pages of a local daily depending on the kind of talents and manpower available.

If you can’t get through it in politics, I bet you can honestly establish a true legacy in sports as a catalyst for change.

As ST rues in Aero’s song, “we all live on the edge of town where there ain’t a soul around’ until—yeah, oh yeah, the evolution of sports and music.”

So please, don’t be mad, honey, if I checkmate and beat you at your own damn game.

And please, listen. The next time around you talk politics to me, please try to mumble sports as the significant other in your book of memories.

We live, eat and breath sports in Cagayan de Oro, baby. Anyone to do the same—embrace the importance of sports with utmost respect—can live peacefully and enjoy life in the City of Gold minus flood, trash and garbage.

Checkmate? Well, hope you say Amen!


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