Sporting greats to be feted June 12

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The heroes of yesteryears – from Olympic swimmer Teofilo Yldefonso to current boxing icon Manny Pacquiao – will be feted during an affair on June 12 at the Newport Performing Arts Theater of Resorts World.


Dubbed Pagpupugay: Gabi ng Parangal, the gala will serve as a tribute to the exploits of the Philippines’ brightest sports immortals stretching back to the last 100 years.

Apart from Pacquiao and Yldefonso, who won a bronze during the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics and whose medal will be on display, others to be honored include bowling legend Paeng Nepomuceno (four-time World Cup champion), chess grandmaster Eugene Torre (Asia’s first GM), and Hall of Fame boxer Flash Elorde.

A project of broadcaster Chino Trinidad, the awards night will be spiced up by an exhibit showing not only unforgettable photos but pieces of memorabilia as well from June 1 until the 15th.

“We’ll celebrate their greatness dahil ang DNA ng kagitingan ng mga Filipino ay di nagbabago,” said Trinidad, seated beside two of the greatest Filipino athletes of all-time – Torre and Nepomuceno – during the PSA Forum presented by Accel, Shakey’s, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.

“Advocacy nating mga Pilipino ito. This is not my event. This is the event of us Filipinos.”

“We’re very thankful for Chino for coming up with this noble idea,” said Nepomuceno.

Also taking centerstage include another Hall of Fame pugilist Pancho Villa (Francisco Guilledo in real life), football idol Paulino “El Romperedes” Alcantara, tracksters Simeo Toribio and Miguel White, prizefighter Ceferino “Bolo Punch” Garcia, tennis great Felecisimo Ampon, hotshot Carlos Loyzaga, fairway ace Ben Arda, 1964 Tokyo Olympics silver medalist Anthony Villanueva, bowlers Lita Dela Rosa, Arianne Cerdena and Olivia “Bong” Coo, cue master Efren “Bata” Reyes and 1996 Atlanta Olympics silver medalist Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco.


Renowned visual artist Joe Datuin, who gained fame when his “Dancing Rings” sculpture won in the prestigious International Olympic Committee Sport and Art Contest in 2008 in connection with the Beijing Olympics, designed the trophies that will be awarded. Manila Bulletin