September 23, 2017

Igimax: love your sport, make it your passion

Mr. Ampiloquio, Dr. Payod, Mr. Mendoza, Mr. Rosal, Mr. Cabuguas, teachers and staff
My dear parents and friends… 
My fellow awardees… 

Sport teaches me a lot of things. Allow me to share them with you especially to the younger Titans.

The first one is to love your sport. Never do it to please someone else. It has to be your choice… it has to be your passion.

Defeats are like fire. It can destroy or strengthen you, depending on your outlook in life. But remember, the fire that melts the butter is the same fire that hardens the steel.

Champions are not made in the gym. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them – a desire, a dream, a vision.

The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary. And remember, when you are not practicing, someone, somewhere, is practicing and when you meet him, he will win. This goes to show how important hard work and sacrifice is.

Being a student and an athlete at the same time is not easy … it takes a lot of hard work, sacrifice, determination and proper time management on both our school work and training schedules. We could not have done this without the support of our parents and our school, PAREF Springdale.

In behalf of all the awardees, let me thank our school for giving us the opportunity to learn things outside the four walls of our classrooms. You encourage us to explore on extra-curricular activities such as sports, without having to give up on our academics. Your all-out support and understanding by excusing us from our classes yet allowing us to make up for our absences is such a privilege that not all student-athletes from other schools enjoy. This is probably the reason why most of us, Springdale athletes, if not all, excel in our sports.

We learned how to balance both our chosen sport and our studies. We thank you, teachers, for shaping our character and making us the kind of student-athletes that we are today. We really appreciate and will forever be grateful for the opportunities you opened up for us not only academically but also in the field of sports. And of course, to all our parents, we thank you for your unconditional love. Thank you for the support and sacrifices you have given us to make things possible and for always being there for us, no matter what.

Let me end this by sharing with you my “3 Simple Rules in Life”:

– If you do not GO after what you want … you will never have it. 
– If you do not ASK … the answer will always be a no. 
– If you do not step FORWARD … you will always be in the same place.

Learn to TAKE risks … and see where your brave heart can take you!

God bless the Titans! Good evening.

Athlete's Night Address by Luis Miguel "IgiMax" Maximo, Philippine Cycling Team

Golds for Cebu City

CVIRAA, Tagbilaran City, Bohol –"The Cebu City swimming team made a splash in the Carlos P. Garcia Sports Complex and bagged a total of 38 gold medals at the end of the competition." (Inquirer NewsDecember 1st, 2011)

Christante Veloso, a Grade 6 PAREF Springdale Titan and one of the members of the Cebu City swimming team, contributed two Golds and a few other medals on the following events:

Gold, Boys 4 x 100 Meter Free Relay

Gold, Boys 4 x 50 Meter Free Relay

Silver, 50 Meter Backstroke

Silver, 100 Meter Backstroke

Bronze, 50 Meter Backstroke

In the Secondary and Elementary Football Competitions, two more PAREF Springdale Titans, namely, Nico Villacin (2HS) and Ryan James Haosen (G7) were also mentioned in the Inquirer News Sports article, as follows:

“The secondary Niños topped their bracket with a spectacular 18-0 routing of Talisay City.

“The team is manned by Don Bosco Technology Center (DBTC) booters and beefed up by two each from Springdale and Abellana National School (ANS).

“Scorers were Jay Arizabal, Val Calvo and Dennis Legaspi with four
goals each; Christian Agot and Yves Caballero with two each and one each from Rogelio Castellon Jr. and Niko Villacin.

“The elementary football team also manned by DBTC trashed Tagbilaran, 6-1.  Scorers were Ryan James Haosen (3), Jon Joseph Rena (2) and Thomas Glen Ramos (1).”

Lyon Valenzuela (4HS) was the other Springdale Titan who was drafted to the Secondary Football Niños.

(Contributed Photo)

Run with the Titans

RUNNING PARENTS. Veteran runners Dr. Potenciano "Yong" Larrazabal III (seated, third from right) and wife Donna Cruz (second from right) will lead some 2,000 runners in PAREF Springdale's first foray in running.

FOOTBALL FOOTBALL powerhouse Paref Springdale will take a stab at running as it hosts its first road race dubbed Run with the Titans on Nov. 20 at Parkmall, Mandaue. The event, which will be headed by the parents of the Grade 3 students, is held in connection with the school’s tradition of celebrating its own Father’s Day.

Titan, a moniker used for Springdale students, inspired this year’s batch to create a project of organizing a running event. “It’s the first time we’re doing a run. It is part of our efforts of getting known in Cebu not only in football but also in running,” said Ric Ampiloquio, who is the Paref Springdale school director. 

They will have a 15K, 7K and 3K divisions, while the sprint events will be exclusive for students. Grades 1 and 2 students will have the 200-meter sprint, Grades 3 to 7 will have the 300-meter sprint, while the high school students will have the 500-meter sprint.

They will also have a separate 7K division for teachers and parents.

The run will raise funds for its beneficiary Kaabag Foundation, which holds a feeding program every Monday among 80 kids from different barangays. The school also partners with them every December for their own feeding program.

“We wanted to expose the kids to the society’s conditions,” said James Co, who heads the committee on marketing and logistics.

Also a proud parent of his third-grader Cian, Dr. Potenciano “Yong” Larrazabal III, chairman of the Run for Sight, will make sure that most of the needs of the runners will be provided.

The registration fee is P300 for the 15K, 7K and 3K.

Registration period will start next week at Parkmall, Center for Sight Cebu Doctors’ University Hospital and Shell Station Lahug until a few days before the race.

The run is expected to gather more than 2,000 runners, and the students will be required to attend as Nov. 20 will also be the school’s family day.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 14, 2011.

Paolo Pascual: Being a part of the Azkals is a very, very big achievement

MANILA, Philippines — Yannick Tuason and Paolo Pascual leave everything behind for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play with the Azkals.

Paolo Pascual, goalkeeper: The other ‘Papa P’

He may not be Piolo, but Paolo Pascual now has his fair share of crazy, adoring fans since joining the Azkals as one of its newest homegrown recruits.

Paolo and the rest of the U-23 (Under 23) players are currently preparing for the Southeast Asian Games in November in Indonesia where he will be the first goalkeeper.

He is also getting back to fighting form after he dislocated his shoulder almost two months ago.
 
Photo grabbed with permission from Paolo's Facebook.

Paolo was just a regular Business and Entrepreneurship college junior at the University of San Carlos in Cebu when he got a call from the Philippine Football Federation asking him to try out for the Azkals.

While it’s already an achievement to try out with other experienced and talented players who come from the other parts of the globe, what sets Paolo apart is the fact that he made it to the national team at only 20 years old. The 5’11” Cebuano native has been training with the Azkals since January.

Paolo started playing football when he was seven years old at Paref Springdale School. He was a striker until Grade VII when his coach Mario Ceniza realized Paolo had the potential to be a good goalkeeper given his height. He has since played in Global Smartmatic FC and in the Philippine U-19 team that competed in China.

Paolo is supposed to be in fourth year college now, but because most of the trainings are conducted in Manila, he is now looking for a school in the capital city where he can continue his studies while he attends the national team trainings at the same time.

Even if he is away from home, Paolo relates that he is always reminded by his father to “always be an intelligent athlete” by balancing academics and sports.

How did you get into football? I started when I was seven years old, for school. Since then, I’ve been playing football in elementary, high school and college. It has always been my childhood dream to play football.

Who are your football idols? Being a goalkeeper, I look up to Iker Casillas. Locally, I look up to my partner, Eduard Sacapano. He has a good work ethic and he has been with the team for so long so I think he deserves to get noticed, he deserves credit.

How would you describe yourself as a player? A goalkeeper should have discipline and a good work ethic. You shouldn’t give up. Even up to the last minute, you should give it your all. Neil Etheridge gives us a lot of tips. When he’s here, he trains us. He’s got a lot of really, really good and useful tips.

What type of a student are you? I’m silent, kinda studious and friendly.

Was it a tough decision choosing between school and being part of the national football team? It is football for now. But I know you can’t get a living by just doing football. You have to earn after football also. So you need a college degree and all that to go through with life. I talked to my mom and dad about it first and I told them that this is just a once-in-alifetime experience. My parents have been very supportive. They’re the ones who have been encouraging me to join the Azkals.

Who inspires you during a game? Number one is God. Next is ‘yung mga na-achieve nung veteran teammates namin, all the Pinoys who have been with the Azkals ever since, like Roel Gener. Their dedication to the team and to the country is amazing.

Do you have any rituals before a game? I just pray.

How has football changed your life? Now that we’re part of the team, you should be more conscious about your health. That’s something to focus on.

What do you consider is your biggest achievement so far? I think being a part of the Azkals is a very, very big achievement already.

What was your craziest experience with a fan? In Barotac (Iloilo) it is pretty wild. The crowd there is rowdy compared to Manila. Here kasi, they keep things to themselves. There they would, they release. They do anything.

Are you single or in a relationship? I’m single.

What do you look for in a girlfriend? I like someone who is God-fearing and family-oriented.

The biggest sacrifice that you have to make as an Azkal? Being away from the family. I’m from Cebu and to move here to Manila is a big sacrifice for me.

What was the biggest adjustment for you coming from Cebu? The life and the family. Homesickness. In Cebu, I have everything there, you have a home, you’re family is there for you. But here, you have to be independent. You have to learn how to live on your own. You have to find ways to get by here in Manila. It was hard adjusting. But after probably a month, I got used to it already.

If you were not a football player, what would you be doing now? I will be studying. Get my business degree then maybe I’ll go become a pilot. It’s been my dream as well.

Do you think the Azkals will survive without the Fil-foreigners? I think we also need the Fil-foreigners. They bring a lot of experience to the team. But skills-wise, I think the pureblooded Filipinos have it.

What was your initial reaction when you saw your team captain, Aly Borromeo’s billboard? Good for him. I’m happy for him. If you have that kind of body, why not flaunt it. Aly has been with the team for so long already, he really deserves all the attention and fame that he has been getting now. Same with Ian (Araneta), Chieffy (Caligdong) and Role (Gener). I’m closest to them and Yannick (Tuason).

Is there a player in the team that you get intimidated by? In football, if you get intimidated, nothing will happen to you. You have to be strong.
 
Published in the Manila Bulletin on July 20, 2011.

Pages: Gio Gandionco’s dream: ‘Be like Rory’

By John Pages

TIGER Woods is outdated and passé. Today’s young golfers want to be like the 22-year-old Irish champion of the United States Open.

Take the son of Opep and Cora Gandionco. Only 16 years old, he possesses the confidence and maturity of Rory McIlroy.

Angelo Jose “Gio” Gandionco explained: “Rory inspired me to do better and to challenge myself; if Rory can do it, why can’t I? It may be tough to be the best or even get in the PGA Tour but if you have the will and desire, you can achieve it. Rory winning made me realize that it’s possible to win one of the biggest tournaments and beat the best. Like now, I’m touring America playing tournaments and I’m up against the best juniors. I know if I play my game I can beat them like Rory. If I focus on what I’m supposed to do and not get intimidated, I can win.”

Spunk, spirit, and self-assurance.

That’s Gio.

From the U.S., he e-mailed last week. “I just finished my first tournament this second trip here,” said Gio. “It’s the AJGA (American Junior Golf Association) Club Corp Mission Hills Desert Junior in Rancho Mirage (Palm Springs), California. Despite jet lag since I just arrived three days earlier and playing in 114-degree weather, I finished second with a score of 71-73-72, which is my best finish so far here. Most of the other players were from California. LJ Go (from Cebu) also played.”

Gio, a 2-handicapper who also idolizes Rickie Fowler (“He stands out with his fashion statement”), travels next to Pinehurst, North Carolina and Huntsville, Alabama. He then returns home to Cebu, where he is a fourth year high school student at Paref-Springdale (and a five-time Student Athlete Of The Year).

“Last April,” he added, “my mom’s family had a reunion in Hawaii so we went on to Texas to join a tournament at the Texas A&M University. I finished 14th (that was a highly-ranked junior event) and, at the PGA Golf Club in Florida, I finished in the top 10. Here in the U.S., there are 5,000 junior golf players… so I think I have been doing well.”

Gio started golf at the age of four. He used Little Tikes plastic golf clubs and his dad, Opep, who heads the family-owned giant Julie’s Bakeshop, was the person who taught his son how to swing.

By age 7, Gio joined golf events. But, he also had a similar interest in the Azkals game of football. He was Springdale’s striker. Finally, he had to choose. “When my soccer tournaments and golf coach’s schedules competed for my time,” he said, “I knew I had to make a choice. Although I enjoyed the team play in soccer with my friends, I knew it was golf I really loved! So at 11, I started to seriously work on my game.”

Mixing academics and sport has not been easy. “My schedule is very hectic,” said Gio, an honor student who consistently averages 90+. “But, I always try to put time for both practicing and studying. During schooldays, I get dismissed 4:30pm so I head to either the range or the golf course on MWF. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I work out in the gym. I get home 6:30pm, study, eat, sleep. It is not easy being a student-athlete; you have to learn how to manage your time well. Even while I’m away for a tournament, I still have to read books and do homework to prepare for tests.”

Gio’s dream? To play in the PGA Tour. But first, he says, “My goal in the medium term is to get a scholarship at a prestigious U.S. university. I would like to play college golf, at the same time graduate with a degree in Business.”

His best score? A 5-under par in a Men’s Amateur tournament late last year. “Although I am still working on my game,” he says, “my short game has always been my strength.

Every aspect of my game is still a work-in-progress, and I am open to learning and improving.”

As to the aspects of golf that he enjoys most, he answers, “I love every part of the game: the pressure, the challenge, the intimidation, the hard work, the difficulties that come everyday and, most of all, the feeling of knowing you’re improving.”

Only 16, Gio sounds like a very, very mature person.

Just like Rory.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu on July 7, 2011.