CLEAN SLATE: Goodbye coach Rey Salingay, JGFP Mindanao Open

When I first stepped on the grounds of the Ateneo de Davao University, a pretty lady approached me and asked, “Taga Kidapawan ka?”. I politely responded saying, “Dili. Taga Jacinto Boulevard ko. Diha lang sa unahan”.

That pretty lady turned out to be my classmate in the A.B. Communication Arts class, Karen Pitoy, a native of Cotabato City.

I spent only two years at the Jesuit institution as I moved to Holy Cross, a transfer smoothly facilitated by my cousin Nene Au (a relative from Mamang Lolita’s Castillo side of the family), where I brought along two dearest friends, Randy F. Babao and Schmid V. Apat.

That day was inspiring for a young man like me. It’s a good sign, I told myself.

After that brief encounter, I walked towards the gym and there I saw the Ateneo women’s varsity volleyball squad practicing. What caught my eye was another pretty lady, who in the later years became a good friend.

When manong Vic Sai brought us (usually me and Guillermo Iroy Jr.) at the Luz Kinilaw, I saw her again and this time with manong Vic’s son, Kenneth. Turns out the two were sweethearts at that time and eventually got married and raised a family.

As I continue to monitor the sports community, I met Iroy’s big circle of sports friends, and among them was Rey Salingay from the volleyball community. Iroy introduced me to Rey, who turned out to be the son of the City Registrar at the time, ma’am Remy, and the Kuya of Honey. Small world, I told myself.

From time to time, when Rey was around sports gatherings, I could hear him share valuable advice and I told myself, this guy is interesting. Rey has valuable insights about sports and no wonder he and Honey were athletes.

Rey would sometimes pop up at the PTA field to chat with other varsity athletes from different schools. And there, we exchange information and ideas.

Sometime in September last year, Rey called me on messenger and the kamustahan started. In the course of the following months, we chatted and he even sent me a photo of him and another Dabawenyo coach, Ronnie Berato, that they were in Vancouver on a snowy December 9th.

To my surprise this week, Honey posted on FB that Rey died peacefully in his sleep. He just turned 59 last November 29. Rest in peace from amigo and our deepest sympathies to the Salingay and Sai families.

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Anything inspiring in 2024?

There’s one in the junior golf circuit in Davao.

This I noticed of the FB posts of good friends, Atty.Larry Pasquil and Davao City councilor Al Ryan Alejandre.

Senyor Larry has a grandson, Guio, that saw action in the Junior Golf Foundation of the Philippines (JGFP) Mindanao Open. Guio placed first runner-up with a 123 to champion David James Teves in the 11-12 Boys Division, who finished with a two-day total 114 at the Apo golf course. Jacob Gomez landed second runner-up with a 131.

I am trying to just imagine the many years that have already passed and frankly, I could not believe how time really flew. Atty.Larry has been our golf news source at the Davao City Golf Club in Matina and one very friendly news source to Davao sportswriters. I just could not believe he is now a grandpa, you know and he does not look like one. And it warms my heart to know that he has a grandson actively competing in a sport that he loves.

Councilor Alejandre, who just turned another leaf, has a son who is also into golf. Alwin also took part in the JGFP Mindanao Open.

It is indeed heartwarming to know that junior golf development has been aggressive with the conduct of a series of tournaments.

In the Mindanao Open, we have to take note of the progress of Nicole Gan, champion in the 11-12 girls, Mona and Lisa Sarines, Jared Saban (9-10 boys champion), Ralph Rian Batican, Vito Sarines, Brittany Pauline Tamayo (9-10 girls champion), Kimberly Shane Baroquillo, Solana Jay Molde, Alonzo Retuerto (7-8 boys champion), Jeremiah Ordanza, Aison Bagares, Athena Batican (7-8 girls champion), Merryl Angel Salvador, Atasha Elize Naranjo, Lucas De Guzman (6 below boys champion), Ethan Franco Lago, Isheidel Revilleza, Stephanie Go (6 below girls champion), Soleil Lanne Molde and Samantha Ibarra.

These young golfers, with the strong support of their parents and family members, will definitely carve out a name for themselves in the golfing circuit.

Keep up the good work boys and girls!

Next leg is on January 27 to 28 at the Pueblo De Oro and we wish all the junior golfers the best!

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