cagayan de oro

The Cagayan Cyclone who became the Blue Eagle King

December 2, 2019

Except perhaps for his relatives, very few alumni of Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan (Xavier Ateneo) today remember one of the greatest basketball players to come out of their alma mater. Antonio Ma. "Choly" Gaston, (HS '49 BS '53) originally came from their Hacienda Sta. Rosalia in Manapla, Negros Occidental.  He is related to the family of the former mayor of Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental Governor Segundo Gaston and still has relatives living in Cagayan de Oro until today. Choly Gaston with a live eagle as the team mascot when the Blue Eagles were still playing in the NCAA. (from a clipping courtesy of the  Gaston Family) The school used to have live eagles as pets in the former Padre Faura campus and later on at the Grade School campus in Loyola Heights. A live eagle would lead the men's varsity basketball team at the start of a game in the NCAA as the team entered the court for their warm-up while the school band played the Ateneo fight song, "Blue Eagle – The King". Ateneo adopted the Blue Eagle as its symbol during the 1930s, and had a live eagle accompany the basketball team. The eagle suggested a "high-flying" basketball team which would "sweep the field away" as a dominating force, and took its colors from those of the school. (Lamberto V. Avellana, On Wings of Blue: booklet of Ateneo traditions, songs, and cheers published in 1930s, reprinted in 1950s) --- “He is mom’s second cousin, the son of the owner of Hacienda Sta. Rosalia, where the touristy Chapel of the Cartwheels is located” said his niece Connie Gaston Falcon-Lahorra. “That’s the venue of our reunions in Manapla, Negros Occidental. He is also the elder brother of Msgr. Guillermo ‘GG’ Gaston.” Choly (for some reason, spelled Chole in the Ateneo de Manila sports archives) as he was known to everyone, was born in 1930. He played high school varsity basketball in the then Ateneo de Cagayan in 1946-1948. “Tito Choly and his brother Tito Toy (Victor) both studied in Xavier and played basketball for the school because this was right after the war and they could not go to Manila,” recalls his niece Mayee Fabregas. When he moved to Ateneo de Manila for his college education he was promptly recruited into the Blue Eagles Senior Varsity where his fiery style of playing earned him the moniker “The Cagayan Cyclone.” As described by Rick Olivares in his article “Post War Blues II  The Legend of Moro, Choly, and the Quest for the Holy Grail of Collegiate Sports in his blog “Bleacher’s Brew”,  Choly who was all of 5’4” , was team captain of a vertically challenged 1952 AdM Blue Eagles starters featuring 5’4” Oscar Battalones and the 5’5” Freddie Campos with Ole Orbeta as the tallest Blue Eagle at 5’11. “The Blue Eagles were built for speed and fast and furious excitement. They were the Ginebra San Miguel of their time for their popularity extended beyond the gates of Ateneo’s Padre Faura campus where its perimeter was still littered with crosses from the war dead,” Olivares wrote.  The King Eagle In the late 1950s, the sports press started referring to the team captain of the Ateneo men's varsity basketball team as the  King Eagle.  The sports scribes got this name from the school's fighting song, Blue Eagle - The King, which was sang by the Ateneo gallery during the games when the Blue Eagles were still playing in the NCAA but has now been revived as the Blue Eagles fight song sung at the start of their every game at the UAAP.  Edgardo "Ed" Ocampo of the back-to-back 1957 and 1958 NCAA champions Ateneo Blue Eagle team was the first team captain to be called King Eagle. Choly became the ninth of that illustrious line of players to carry the moniker and he did not disappoint, helping carry the team to the NCAA championship in 1952. "Even during those early days of basketball, height was already might. Imagine then the towering La Salle Green Archers with 4/5 of their starting unit of Martin Urra, Tony Banggoy (brother of San Beda Red Lion Lito Banggoy), Ramoncito Campos, and Juan Muñoz who all stood at least six feet tall (guard Alex Montilla was the only a shade or two less)," Olivares wrote. The Cagayan Cyclone "Gaston, dubbed “The Cagayan Cyclone” (he was actually from Negros but studied at both the Ateneo De Cagayan and Ateneo De Manila) by sportscaster and sportswriter Willie Hernandez, was a pest on the court.” “Choly not only inherited jersey #11 from brother-in-law Baby Dalupan, but picked up from where he left off with a hellacious defense.” “No lead was safe when Choly was on the court. If a player wasn’t too careful with the spheroid, the next sight he saw was Gaston hightailing it to the opposite end for a two-handed lay-up off the backboard." The Harlem Globetrotters "During an exhibition game against the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum, hardcourt wizard Marques Haynes asked for a volunteer from both Ateneo and NU to strip him of the ball.” “Haynes was acclaimed as the world’s best dribbler and taking the ball away seemed a daunting if not improbable task for anyone. NU’s Tony Villamor went first and was toyed around by the dexterous skills of the Globetrotter.”  “When it was Gaston’s turn, the people who had packed the coliseum to the rafters began chanting: ‘Choly! Choly! Choly!’ Haynes smiled at the Errol Flynn-mustached Gaston and dared him do the impossible.”   “Three seconds later, the Globetrotter’s toothy smile was replaced by shock and horror as the Cagayan Cyclone did the improbable by swiping the ball away as the jam-packed coliseum erupted into cheers.” “Indeed, Choly Gaston was quite a sight to behold in and out of the court remembered many who were at the school at that time." “He was like this larger-than-life character despite his small size,” said Moying Martelino. “He had this movie-star mustache and would drive to school in the chopper (motorcycle) that made him look real cool.”  “Despite being the smallest one on the court, he was certainly one of the most exciting,” chipped in Poch Estella. “Choly would sky to collar those rebounds and his zigzagging through less agile defenders for a deuce that would bring the crowd to its feet.” “Tremendous athleticism that young man,” added Estella who helped set screens for Gaston to puncture the hoop. “The moment Choly stepped onto the court as a Blue Eagle, he was a superstar.”  Tragically, Choly died when he was but 26 years old when, as a newly minted pilot of the Philippine Air Force, his P-51 Mustang nicknamed “Blue Eagle King” crashed when it was bumped by a plane piloted by a wing mate during an aerial exhibition at Floridablanca, Pampanga  on May 5, 1956. Choly  Gaston was inducted into the Ateneo de Manila Sports Hall of Fame in 1988. (Compiled by Mike Baños, AB ’78, Ateneo de Zamboanga, 1980 AdZ Blue Eagles, and MBA 2000 Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan. Many thanks to Mayee Fabregas and the Gaston Family)

READ MORE
Reg'l summit vs gender-based violence opens campaign to end VAW

December 2, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY -- As part of the 18-Day Campaign to End VAW (Violence Against Women), the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) held the Regional Summit Against Gender-Based Violence (GBV), November 25, here. Recording 707 total VAW cases in the region with 575 Republic Act 9262 (Act Defining Violence Against Women and Their Children) violations and 68 rape cases based on the data on VAW generated from Crime Information Reporting and Analysis System as of November 5, 2018, CHR Regional Director Lawyer Jeanne Ivy Abrina said they now focus on halting rape and other forms of sexual violence against women and girls. The GBV Summit also focuses on the vices and experiences of women in the marginalized sector as well as it aims to collectively reflect on the gains and the continuing gaps in addressing GBV together with the members of the different inter-agency mechanisms against GBV. During the summit, the term ‘gender-based violence’ highlighted the gender dimension of the relationship between females’ subordinate status in society and their increased vulnerability to violence.    "It is also important to note that men and boys may also be victims of gender-based violence," Lawyer Filipinas Palma of CHR said. To respond to the increasing number of VAW cases in the region, CHR recommends the hiring of psychologists, strengthening of educational drives, the establishment of mental health facilities, implementation of DSWD GBV programs, standardization of professional assistance, among others. (Renee Mae Guhiting/PIA10)    

READ MORE
18-Day Campaign to End VAW kicks off in R10

December 2, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - With the theme, “VAW-Free Community Starts with Me,” the 18-Day Campaign to End VAW (Violence Against Women) kicked off in the region with a motorcade, parade and opening program spearheaded by the  Regional Inter-Agency Committee Against Trafficking, Child Pornography, Violence Against Women and Their Children (RIACAT-CP-VAWC)-10, November 25, here.  Commanding General of the 4th Infantry Division (4ID) MGen Franco Nemesio Gacal said the celebration's theme inspired every individual to make a personal commitment to end this kind of violence and play a part along with everyone else in the solution as a first step in achieving the country's goal.    "I believe, this annual nationwide observance of the campaign has emphasized the importance of understanding gender perspective in addressing key concerns in our society because as long as this type violence continues, we cannot truly claim to be making progress towards equality, development and most importantly peace,” Gacal said. For her part, Lawyer Rosa Lacanglacang of Parole and Probation Administration, Department of Justice Region (PPA-DOJ)-10 said the 18-Day Campaign to end VAW aims to promote awareness on the forms of violence girls and women experience and gave emphasis on violence as can be experienced by woman of any age, color, ethnicity, disability or economic status, and is rooted in gender inequality.    To further strengthen the campaign in the region, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) held the Regional Summit Against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) participated in by various stakeholders from different sectors in the city presenting the root causes of GBV.    The 18-Day Campaign to End VAW supports the Philippine government's goal of protecting the human rights of women and girls by upholding its commitment to address all forms of gender-based violence as enshrined in the 1987 Constitution. (Ma. Theresa A. Dacoroon/PIA-10)

READ MORE
The Front Runner highlights 150 years of The Manila Jockey Club

December 2, 2019

The Manila Jockey Club is marking its sesquicentennial anniversary through The Front Runner, a coffee table book that traces the history of horse racing – the sport, the spectacle, and the way of life – in the Philippines. “No such chronicle of horse racing history has been produced before,” says Atty. Alfonso Victorio G. Reyno III, President of MJC. “The book captures the essence of how horse racing was born and kept alive in the Philippines over the course of 150 years, and how MJC played a central role in all that.” Photo L-R: Media Wise Communications Inc./Muse Books Editor Achilles Mina, Manila Jockey Club VP for Marketing Eduardo Ramirez de Arellano, Deputy COO & VP for Resource Admin Peter G. Zagala, President & CEO Alfonso Victorio G. Reyno III,  Corporate Counsel & General Counsel Dir. Ferdinand. A Domingo, VP for MIS Carlos S. Tan, Media Wise CEO/ Executive Publisher Ramoncito Ocampo Cruz & Operations Manager Rey Albert Fuentes. (MWC) ---  The Front Runner is produced by Media Wise Communications/ Muse Books, a multi-awarded publisher of coffee table books, under the executive/creative directorship of Ramoncito Ocampo Cruz. Editor Achilles Mina headed a team of writers that explored many facets of the MJC’s history.  The Front Runner begins with an account of how a merchant became one of the founders of the MJC, and how the San Lazaro Hippodrome at the heart of Manila was built, grown and expanded to house a distinctly Filipino way of life, before and after the war. Also a picture book depicting the exquisite beauty of horses and giving a glimpse of how the sport has evolved since the 1800s, The Front Runner talks not only about horse owners and enthusiasts, but also of the men and women who worked at the racetracks and built a community around it, before and after the war. Change came upon the entry of the present management, in the form of the transfer to a much bigger and modern horse racing facility in Carmona, Cavite, and a stronger commitment to enact positive change in Philippine society. “MJC’s history is long, but it is by no means linear,” says Cruz. “This book shows how the company has evolved over the times, and how it continues to innovate and gallop toward a rosier future through bold business strategies and strategic partnerships.” The Front Runner also features some long-time racing workers and aficionados, their stories closely intertwined with the story of the company. “The book itself will form part of horse racing history in the Philippines,” adds Atty. Reyno III.  

READ MORE
4ID Phil Army hosts VAW celebration in Cagayan de Oro City 

November 27, 2019

CAMP EVANGELISTA, Cagayan de Oro City – On the observance of the entire Nation on the 18-day campaign to end Violence Against Women (VAW), International Day against Trafficking this month, the 4th Infantry “Diamond” Division, Philippine Army hosted the venue of the kickoff celebration on Monday, November 25, 2019.      The 18-day campaign to end VAW is annually observed from November 25 to December 12 to raise awareness to the public. This year’s theme is “VAW-free community starts with me”. The campaign supports the government’s goal in protecting the rights of women and young girls by upholding commitment to address all forms of gender-based violence as enshrined in the 1987 constitution.     Meanwhile, the activity started with a motorcade at around 6:30 o’clock in morning from Paseo Rotondo going to Headquarters, 4ID, Camp Evangelista, Patag here in Cagayan de Oro City. It was attended by various government agencies headed by the Department of Justice Region 10. Government employees with their heads of offices headed by Regional Director Rosa H Lacanglang, president of GAD Advocacy Region 10 participated the activity. The formal program ensued at 4ID, Grandstand at around 8:00 o’clock in the morning.    MGen Franco Nemesio Gacal, the Commander of the 4ID emphasized, “It is indeed essential that we recognize the relevance of gender inclusivity in all aspect. The 4ID is a male-dominated organization however, we fully acknowledge that we need to continuously conduct activities that will enlighten our soldiers and civilian personnel on women’s right. Your Diamond troopers is one with you in supporting this cause”.    “I urge everyone to resolve their personal commitment to end VAW and together we continue to take a bold step to eradicate traditions that perpetuate violence against women, we assure you of our strong commitment to this advocacy all throughout.” Gacal ended -

READ MORE
Two Kagay-anon Booters in Azkals U22 Squad to SEA Games

November 25, 2019

Two outstanding booters from Cagayan de Oro have been picked to join the Philippine Azkals U22 Futbol Team that will represent the country in the 2019 South East Asian (SEA) Games hosted by the Philippines. JB Borlongan finished high school at Abba’s Orchard in Cagayan de Oro while Troy Limbo was graduated from La Salle Greenhills. JB now plays for the University of the Philippines (U.P) Maroon Booters Varsity Futbol team with whom he won a gold medal in the 2016 Unigames while Troy is studying at Sutherland in the United Kingdom where he plays for the Sunderland Ryhope Community Association Football Club  (Sunderland RCA FC) an English association football club, based in Ryhope, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, currently playing in the Northern League Division One. Troy just turned 21 while JB will 21 next month. JB Borlongan won a Gold Medal with the UP Maroon Booters in the UAAP Unigames Season 18 --- Troy is in the regular lineup while JB has been placed in the reserves list after the SEA Games allowed participating teams to bring in two players older than 22 years old to their lineup. Thus, Stephen Schrock of the senior Azkals and Amani Aguinaldo of Ceres Negros were placed in the regular lineup with Schrock,  expected to don the team captain's armband for the U22 Azkals. Justin Baas, who played for the Azkals' first team during the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, was also called up for the final U22 squad, along with  Dylan De Bruycker (who played for Ceres Negros in the Copa instead of the U22 Azkals) Christian Rontini, and Dennis Chung. Anthony Pinthus, who skippered for the Azkals in the 'Copa', rising star Jarvey Gayoso, and revelations Yrick Gallantes, Pocholo Bugas, and Chima Uzoka will headline the under-22 core of the Nationals for the SEA Games as confirmed by Assistant Coach Ernie Nierras on Thursday. Joining them are Michael Asong, Edison Suerti, Vince Diano, Jordan Jarvis, Marco Casambre, Finn McDaniel, Troy Limbo, Jerome Marzan, and JR Suba from the U22 Azkals team that played in the Philippines Football League's cup tournament. JB Borlongan wears No. 21 for the Azkals Pilipinas Futbol U22 Squad --- To make room for Baas, De Bruycker, Rontini, Chung, Schrock, and Aguinaldo, AJ Arcilla, Poi Saldivar, Ivan Ouano, JB Borlongan, Jovan Marfiga, Dean Ebarle, and Fritz Brigoli (who were all part of the U22 Azkals' Copa team) were placed in the reserves' list. The Azkals start their quest for gold on Monday, Nov.25 vs. Cambodia 8PM at the Rizal Memorial Stadium. They will next play Myanmar 4PM on Wednesday, Nov 27 at the same venue; Malaysia 8PM on Friday, Nov 29 still at the same venue, before winding up their sked vs. Timor Leste 4PM at the Biñan Football Stadium. (with a report from PNA)  

READ MORE

Subscribe Now!

Receive email updates from Mindanao Daily News.