Final Pitstop to UFC

Quezon City
March 26, 2014
Final Pitstop to UFC

Just minutes before the clock struck 12 noon in one humid day somewhere in Quezon City, Sportsmaryosep zigzagged through through horrendous traffic and raced against practically every vehicle, truck after truck, six-wheeler after six-wheeler that littered Manila to make it just on time for the presser of a fast-growing mixed martial arts outfit. There awaits a bevy of sportswriters and bloggers like yours truly, photographers and cameramen who have already occupied most of the tables. We were led to this near empty table where the only occupant is television reporter James Velasquez. Since the presscon hasn’t started and the lunch is stll being served, we talked about practically everything including his successful trip in the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia where he was the only Filipino mediaman sent there by its official Philippine television coveror TV5. And then we started discussing MMA and how its enormity of fight fans in the country known for its Manny Pacquiaos, Nonito Donaires, and even Mark Munozes and Brandon Veras.
You see, MMA is already a big thing in the Philippines. In fact, the Ultimate Fighting Championship is reportedly holding a fight here soon, perhaps late this year. If you’re hiding in a cave, the UFC is the biggest, most popular and most prestigious MMA outfit in the world. It’s the NBA of MMA. That’s why, when you make it that far, it’s already a dream-come-true for everyone. Then we talked about the Pacific X-Treme Combat and its latest fight card, PXC 43 this Saturday at the Ynares Sports Arena. We agreed that the PXC has started to get the reputation as the best doorway to UFC as evidenced by some of its champion fighters Jon Tuck, Dustin Kimura and Hyun Gyu Lim making the jump. Hawaii’s Louis Smolka has been taken by the UFC too just after he beat Davao pride Ale Cali in PXC 41 last November to snatch the flyweight belt. And there could be more too.

Perhaps Cali, who didn’t have the ground game to back up his Pacquiao-like punching power. Or probably Fil-Am Mark Streigl. But whoever makes the crossover, James, who boxes when not busy with his TV gigs, and I agreed that PXC is the best way to realize one’s UFC dreams, nONE other else.
Follow Sportsmaryosep on Twitter: @JoeySVillar

(Photos courtesy of PXC)


Of Cebu, Football and Violence

Rizal Memorial Coliseum
March 20, 2014
Of Cebu, Football and Violence

They say a picture paints a thousand words.
I agree.
Beacause it lured me out of blogging hibernation.


I was in the media center of the Rizal Memorial Coliseum filing my customary stories a few days back when I chanced upon a photo in Facebook with this grown up MAN (In gray) holding something like a black, solid object that had something dangerously pointed or bladed beating up a teenage KID No. 1 (In black) who is fighting another KID (In white) who we will call KID No. 2, in a football game for KIDS that had gone wrong. In the next photos, there was this other GUY, younger than the MAN and a little older than the KIDS, who came rushing to the scene. The MAN appeared to have attempted to throw a punch on this GUY (In black sando) too even though the photo showed he was only trying to break up the fight. The last photo capped it all off as it showed a KID crying as blood flowed from his forehead, allegedly from the blow or blows he received from the MAN with the bladed weapon.

The MAN in gray turned out to be Enrico Mongaya.
The KID in black is the goalie of Alcoy FC.
The KID in white is a player from Sacred Heart School-Ateneo.
We will not name KIDS because they’re KIDS.
The GUY in black sando is unidentified.
The tournament is the 16th Aboitiz Football Cup.
The place is Cebu.

Let’s get the side of Mongaya. Reports have it he’s 41 years old and a father of two. He’s a customs police. He was there as a spectator who has a son who also plays for Sacred Heart. He has not given statements. His lawyer, Ram Villagonzalo, did and it came out in a story from Sun Star Cebu, which was responsible for running the photos we’re talking about that had gone viral in social media already. The statement in that story reads: “neither did he desire nor feel happy” about what happened and that he is “exerting all efforts for reconciliation.” He said Kid No. 2 is his godson. Seeing he was being choked by Kid No. 1, who is bigger just like most golies are, he ran to save KID No. 2 “preventing further harm or eventual death of” Kid No. 2. Mongaya said he just want to save his godson from further harm and it was his instint that took over in the heart of the scuffle. Mongaya said wants reconciliation with the parties involved. He said as a parent, he wouldn’t want to see a kid getting beat up too.

What happened after the incident?
As of this writing, Yan Baring, a long-time friend of mine who writes for Sun Star Cebu, said the Cebu Football Association has slapped sanctions on players involved in the football brawl as well as both teams involved. As for Mongaya, she tells Sportsmaryosep that Alcoy FC is contemplating filing charges against Mongaya, if it hasn’t already.

Sportsmaryosep’s take: They’re KIDS. Yes, KID No. 1 is bigger than KID No. 2. But you’re a MAN. If your breaking up a fight, don’t punch nor attempt to throw one unless your LIFE is in danger. Worse, don’t bring anything solid, even bladed that you can use as a weapon. If you want to save KID No. 2 from being beaten up by KID No. 1, just pull the two fighting KIDS away from each other. NOT attack them. Aren’t you big enough to handle these two KIDS? And you’re a customs police. I know, as a parent, that you want to save KID No. 2. That’s admirable. But you being in authority, of all people, should know MAXIMUM TOLERANCE and restraint being OLDER and BIGGER than these KIDS. It sickens me to learn that some is even defending the guy’s action. Why condone the act? A wrong can never be undone by another wrong. But hey, life’s a bitch I guess. And this is a democratic country. You can take sides and say what you want.
P.S. Before one seek for reconciliation, one must learn to say this five letter word: S-O-R-R-Y. Then comes forgiveness. Then reconciliation.
Follow me on Twitter: @JoeySVillar


(Photos courtesy of Sun Star Cebu)