Believe it or don’t, it’s all about a girl.
Sometimes, there comes a time in your life, that you think of nothing else but as to who you are going home to at the end of the day.
Since 1992, I’ve been a sportswriter, earning a living out of a craft that we so love and which we describe as the best job in the world.
What about the money?
At first, it won’t give you a living, and you have to rely on getting fed by your own Mamang Loleng, yet it has opened a lot of opportunities in the world of sports.
There are those around you that can see your potential. Suddenly, you get just damn so busy that you work seven days a week!
But if you love sports, you don’t mind the work. It has become part of you, just like having oatmeal mixed with Alpine milk and red sugar for breakfast, or having “puto maya”, “sikwate” and ripe mangoes with your old man in Bankerohan.
Just a daily routine and you don’t mind the hours that go with it.
When a job needs to get done, you just do it, period.
Sure, you’ll progress as the years go by, thanks to many patrons, who have the means to just reward you from time to time for a job well done. For the record, I never asked them, and just say a prayer Up There, asking for some resources, and prayers are just heard.
For the record, I had a ticket to go back home because there was a lot of unfinished business.
Radyo ni Juan was just starting, there was no replacement yet for a sports editor for Edge Davao, and as officer-in-charge of the Sports Development Division-City Mayor’s Office, there are still so many projects to be done, programs to support and sports shenanigans to control.
So, I told Ninong Tony Ajero to have Neil Bravo on board Edge Davao. Luckily, he got on board while I was away. And the rest is history.
So just imagine a hard-working Dabawenyo in the sports community keeps going seven days a week. Then suddenly, doing nothing. Vacation?
At first, you tell yourself, I deserve this break. But lo and behold, it just becomes boring, to the point that it would sometimes drive you crazy.
Not to sound boastful about it, but you have to understand that I am a fourth generation Dabawenyo, born and raised to lead and to be a very productive citizen of the city. And suddenly, you find yourself in a middle of nowhere where there’s snow half of the year.
That is not the life you are looking for? Right?
Fortunately, there were doors of opportunities in a strange land.
My old man had already given me a head’s up, saying that if I ever decide to go abroad, I have to start from scratch. True indeed.
However, if you are with the you one you love, that doesn’t matter anymore.
After briefly contributing for the Toronto-based Canadian Newcomer Magazine, I bumped into the publisher of the Alberta Filipino Journal, a monthly newspaper based in Edmonton, at an insurance brokers’ conference organized by PPI in 2017.
Kuya Jun Angeles, whose family are among the earliest settlers in Alberta Province in the 1960s, and I are both licensed life insurance agents, him as founder of Angeles and Associates Financial Services and me, helping the family-owned Phoenix Horizon Investments Corp. managed by my wife’s family.
Probably, it was just fate that I met Kuya Jun who gave me the opportunity to write for his paper and thus the Sports Journal column was born. Five years later, the sports editorship post came as a reward.
The writing opportunity also paved the way for photography and news writing gigs and the good thing, there are Filipino-owned small business owners who were able to recognize my contribution to the growing Filipino community in Alberta Province.
There is still “life” after Edge Davao, and we just must keep it going as chroniclers. As they say, once a newspaperman, always a newspaperman.
And I am truly blessed that even from time to time, when inspiration strikes, I can still contribute for Edge Davao, thanks to my loving godparents ninong Tony and ninang Olive, editor Neil and the supportive staff of our Edge Davao family.