BACOLOD – We are but a speck in a world too huge to belittle.

   

So, fret not when things turn rough, or people you know suddenly change.

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Everything changes. But, generally speaking, the world remains.

It will always have billions of treasures – people among them.

We can find them everywhere.  There’s never a dearth of warm bodies waiting, willing, to hug you, anywhere you go.

I always find many of them in the PAL Interclub Golf Championship, that beloved tournament that’s been with us the last six decades or so.

Rotated yearly at venues in Cagayan de Oro, Davao and Bacolod, the PAL Interclub’s 63rd edition is presently being hosted by Bacolod. 

Ah, Bacolod.  This city has a special spot in my heart.  It was here, in the Golden Year of the PAL Interclub in 1997, that I won the PAL Media golf tournament. Ah, that tournament, so memorable it’s been etched now on stone.

Flashback

I trailed leader Jake P. Ayson by 7 shots with one round to go.

Because miracles do happen, I wiped out Jake’s 7-stroke margin and won by 2 shots. 

Rolando “Rollie” G. Estabillo, then PAL’s vice president for corporate communications, wrote in the certificate of victory: “It was a triumph like no other.”

Forgive the plugging, but I had that certificate, handed personally to me by Rollie on March 2, 1997, framed.  It occupies a special place on the wall near my working table at home.

You win trophies at the golf course but you win people, too.

There’s just too many of the great guys I’ve already won, Ken Angeles of Davao being one of them. Ken and his kind are trophies in another level.

I’m sure I’m going to fish more of Ken’s species, either at Marapara or Binitin.

As I keep saying – which my dear Insan, the late, lamented Taby Tabaniag had taken to heart, too – golf is people.

With this game, you meet people, become friends with some of them the minute the handshake at the first tee box is sealed.

Some handshakes could weld a lasting friendship, some not – and that’s part of life, if not of the game.

But the people you become friends with, keep them close to your heart.

They might just amount to only two, three, among your 10 fingers.

But I tell you, that’d be a lot already.