A Gift

Port Area, Manila
August 20, 2013
A Gift
This one’s not written by Sportsmaryosep. This was penned by a revered sportswriter and editor, one of the best, if not the best, in the business. His name is Lito Tacujan, Associate and Sports editor of The Philippine Star. My boss. Writer and golfer par excellence. The one who gave me a chance to be what I am now. I remember going to The STAR’s office in Port Area 14 years ago, and with the closure of Manila Times, the newspaper I wrote for as a correspondent three years before, looming, and applied for a job. As I was entering the cubicle of the Sports section, there he was. With fear in my heart, I told him of my intention to write for him. After a minute, the first words he told me: “I’ll test you for a month and we’ll see.” And as they say, the rest is history.
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Now here we are, 14 years later, still writing. And I owe my sportswriting life to this one great person. Boss Lito seldom writes, but when he does, it’s always something to remember. Here’s his most recent work in the induction of the new set of officers of the  Philippine Sportswriters Association last Aug. 13 at the Manila. Sweet and short. And here it goes:
To be a sportswriter

Good evening

I was asked by Jun Lomibao to have the closing remark to tonight’s affair..short n sweet, he said .

I could have obliged and go through the canned phrase of the PSA having new hope under a new Leadership.
Of the association taking to heart its role as conduit between the haves and have nots of Philippine sports….and as a catalyst of change.

But let me take this a little further and to use another sports phrase, seize the moment and Address ths sportswriting fraternity.

Sportswriting is an esteemed word for us.It meant the world for us sportswriters.. Anybody can be a reporter or a writer but only a chosen few, and god must have his reason, can become a sportswriter.

The label is not easily earned or bestowed. You have to work hard for it. But once you did, and if you were true to your craft, you carried it like a badge of courage or a medal of valor .

For it would take a liberal dose of patience to understand why a guy would pound away a story late in the night when the game had long been over and the arena had emptied itself of fans.
I always maintain that sportswriting is a gift.. Anybody could be a reporter but only a sportswriter could capture the drama, give perspective and color to an event and spice it up with his 10-0 blast..
Hopefully the young and aspiring ones in the crowd will appreciate this gift and Nurture and nourish it .
Particularly now that conventional sportswrting faces a severe test with online reporting not only taken roots but has a life of its own..we are faced with a challenge to come up with. better copies, better stories, without losing our 10-0 blast.
Theres this phrase that says what you are is God’s gift to you and what you make of yourself is your gift to God. Hopefully when our time comes we would face Him and say we did our part…..and thank you dear lord for the gift.
Good night!

August 13, 2013, Manila Hotel
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Sportsmaryosep postscript: Wow. I’m just speechless!

Follow Sportsmaryosep on Twitter: @JoeySVillar

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(Photos courtesy of PSA, Lito Tacujan, Polaroid/Philippine Star)

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