Introducing the iFC!!!

Don’t look now but we’ve got a new kid on the block eager to show his brand of exciting new combat sport action in the country. This March 28 at the Solaire Resort and Casino, the i Fighting Championships (iFC) will present a unique package, featuring four different combat disciplines: wushu/sanda, muay thai, juego todo and mixed martial arts. The iFC event is the inaugural offering of the Battle Series, introducing foreign and local players angling to hit the big time. To top it all, the iFC team has declared that the proceeds of the show will all go to the bereaved families and dependents of the Fallen SAF 44, as a demonstration of sympathy and support.


The iFC is a merger of two energetic young companies: the World Team USA Gym, owned and operated by Tony Reyes; and the Goat Locker Gym, owned and operated by Ferdie Munsayac.

Screen shot 2014-05-01 at 5.31.31 AM

World Team USA has produced numerous dazzling international MMA shows in Manila, the latest of which was the Kunlun World Tour Fight 4 at the Solaire Resort. The Kunlun World Tour is a popular series in China and Thailand, where the fights were beamed to millions of delighted TV fans. Tony Reyes owns the largest MMA/muay thai studio in San Francisco, California; and is at the same time the Vice President of the World Boxing Council (WBC) Muay Thai.


Goat Locker, on the other hand, provides a different perspective; having busied itself by authoring 10 MMA events in the provinces since 2013 under the Underground Battle Series. Goat Locker’s advocacy is to provide opportunities for promising MMA practitioners, by giving them proper training, support and guidance. Hence, the Underground Battle (UGB) is an amateur competition geared towards discovering potential fighters in the provinces. These activities have gained much popularity, and this has resulted in MMA’s significant grassroots growth. Ferdie Munsayac is a former US Navy Chief, hence his strong attachment to the young poverty-stricken fighters.


A special attraction in the iFC package is the introduction of the Round Girl Search. The iFC Battle Series will be more colorful with the bevy of ladies aspiring to be iFC Round Girls. The Round Girl Search is a promotional coup courtesy of Fernando Laguda, a veteran promotions operator in the US who has decided to offer his talents to the local fight scene.


By providing 4 combat disciplines in one production, iFC promises to provide excitement and new flavor in the fight world. By introducing fresh faces in the fight scene, iFC provides vast opportunities and experience to our local fighters. By donating the proceeds to the SAF 44 families, iFC projects a social initiative that is worthy of emulating.

Let’s support this initiative. It is for a truly worthy cause.


Filed under Family and Friends, Sports

Is the Filipino Worth the ‘Inconvenience’?

by: Rosemarie Holganza Borromeo

from Cebu Daily News 23 Feb 2015


Lovely cousin Rose is the youngest daughter of my late uncle, Dodong, an old-time Cebu political figure who died recently. She was only 15 years old when her Dad and her eldest brother, Joeyboy, were arrested for alleged subversive activities in Cebu. This was in December 25, 1982, Christmas Day. The arrest would have a profound effect on their home. It would make her mature faster, and bring the family closer and stronger. On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the historic February ’86 Edsa ‘People Power’ Revolution,  she reminisces those trying times, and ponders – with the situation prevailing today – if the sacrifices her Dad selflessly offered us were well worth it. 

Around noon of Christmas 1982, as I lay resting on a sofa at home, several hours after my family’s fun-filled noche-buena, the sound of loud footsteps roused me from my nap. It was my mommy frantically running down the stairs while listening to the booming voice of a radio announcer with a chilling flash report. My father, Ribomapil “Dodong” Holganza, and my eldest brother, Joeyboy, have just been arrested in a rebel “safe house” in a crowded downtown  district of Bonifacio and Lopez Jaena Street.


Dodong after being arrested in an alleged rebel ‘safehouse’.

For a 15 year old who had never heard of the word safe house before, the report smelled of irony; but it did not come as a shock. My father had it coming. He was, after all, the top leader of Cebu’s anti-Marcos movement who galvanized thousands of Cebuanos to join his so-called Freedom Marches long before the rest of the country took to the streets to unite in protest.

Daddy’s rallies drew national opposition stalwarts like Lorenzo Tanada, Jovito Salonga, Jose W Diokno, Doy Laurel, Cesar Climaco, Ramon Mitra, Raul Manglapuz, Eva Estrada Kalaw, Joker Arroyo, Aquilino Pimentel Jr, Rene Saguisag and others who appeared to have found a safe haven amongst the throngs of Cebuanos, all freedom-loving descendants of Lapu-lapu.


Anti-Marcos rallies circa early 70s. (

The Christmas Day flash report said my father and brother were in a safe house with other rebels. Oh, the irony of the word ‘safe house’, I thought. There was nothing safe about the way we lived our lives since Daddy started leading the Cebu opposition in the late 70s. And then, that word ‘house’. What is that? I mean, really.

Young as I was back then, I had lost my concept of a house because ours seemed to double as a sanctuary for the hungry and the oppressed who came in droves 24/7 to seek my father’s help.

As Mommy entered the living room with the transistor radio still clutched in her hand, she quickly surveyed the rest of us, as if keeping count of who were left among her loved ones; with Daddy and her precious Joeyboy now in military custody. Calmly, she then called the first person she knew could help her, Daddy’s fellow opposition leader and popular radio commentator, Inday Nita Cortes Daluz, who still had not heard the news then.


Jailed for his convictions.

Meanwhile, the rest of us stood wondering, what was now going to happen to us. As the AM radio continued blasting reports of the military raid on “Bonifacio Street near Mabini,” I couldn’t help but think that the paradox of Daddy’s life had finally reached its pinnacle.

Named after the Philippine heroes: Rizal, Bonifacio, Mabini and Del Pilar, Tatay and Nanay couldn’t have possibly guessed that the real test of the mettle of their youngest son Ribomapil’s character would come in a district named after heroes. Pictures of my father taken moments after their arrest showed him visibly confused though still apparently determined. As he sat on the curb, handcuffed and disheveled, I read the thought that must have raced through his mind then.

Knowing him as I do, he must have figured with neither bitterness nor anger. The Filipino nation is worth this little inconvenience.


The Filipino is worth the ‘inconvenience’.

Days after their arrest, then Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile flew in to check on their latest catch. Perhaps expecting an apology for being a problem to the Marcos administration, the dictator’s top security officer asked my Dad if he was now ready to relent in support of Ferdinand Marcos. Instead, my father recited a litany of Marcos sins against the people. That earned him and my brother, Joeyboy, a guaranteed stay in jail for nearly 3 years with no bail and no trial.

My father was a moderate, but back then, there was no room for any kind of protest.

In a letter he wrote from his cell in 1985, he bewailed that while he, my brother and countless others were rotting in jail for crimes that they did not commit, “it is revolting that all around us are people who are truly the enemies of the state, the real subversives who have been subverting the faith and confidence of the Filipinos in our democratic processes, who pillage and plunder the patrimony of this nation, and yet are enjoying their loot and power very well beyond the reach of our anemic, discriminatingly inutile judicial system.”


The Edsa People Power Revolution, the first of its kind in the world.

Always the brilliant political analyst, my father projected in that letter written a year before the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolt that “the oppressed Filipinos have already passed their darkest night. And we are now witnessing the flickering lights of the early dawn of our salvation; that the days of tyranny are about to end; that the wounded tigers in office now roaming and wildly pillaging the corridors of power may soon just be swept away by a flood of an enraged humanity; that true democracy shall be restored from the ashes of a nation torn and shattered to pieces by a reckless and irresponsible leadership; and the Filipinos shall vow that never again shall we let another tyrant rule our beloved land”.

Last January 25, a month short of the EDSA People Power anniversary this year, my father passed away.

He died knowing that while Filipinos may never again let another tyrant rule over our beloved Philippines, the same political and social ills are still very much around with exactly the same lessons to be learned.

Looking back at Daddy’s sacrifice and how our family suffered for years, I have to ask, without bitterness or anger: Was it really worth all our inconvenience?

For more on Dodong Holganza:

    The Struggle and Hindsight

     Counting My Blessings

(Photos courtesy of:,,, tubagbohol,,


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Best Advice from Barracks to Boardroom

Chip Bergh

President and CEO, Levi Strauss & Company

republished from LinkedIn 2 Feb 2015


The author as a First Lieutenant, in Buedingen, (West) Germany, 1981

I read this article in Linkedin and couldn’t help reminisce the good old days in the Army. Yes, the same principles – from barracks to boardroom, from Manila to Mamasapano – apply. In the light of that tragic misadventure in Mamasapano, I’d like to share this article with you. Am pretty sure you’ll find this not just an entertaining read, but a very helpful one in your day-to-day activities as well. For those among us who wear the combat boots still, these are good reminders of values worth imbibing. Happy reading!!!

As the CEO of Levi Strauss & Co. and a 28-year veteran of Procter & Gamble, I tend to be known as a “brand” guy, a businessman, someone who launches brands and strives to build talent and strong global businesses. But my “formative” years were spent as a U.S. Army Officer fresh out of college in a combat unit in Germany during the peak of the Cold War.

In many ways, it was my military experience that shaped who I am and how I think about leadership. Even though those days in Germany were 35 years ago, the lessons have stayed with me all of these years. In fact, the military may have given me the best advice and taught me the most valuable lessons I’ve learned in my career.

1. Always eat last. One of the first things I learned as an officer was that officers always ate last. The principle is simple: to be a good leader, you take care of your people first. Officers are the last to sleep, the first to wake, especially in the field. And though “servant leadership” may sound like an oxymoron, taking care of your “soldiers” means they will take care of you.

2. Never ask a soldier to do something you wouldn’t do yourself. A corollary to the “always eat last” principle, real leaders will never “order” or even ask someone to do something they wouldn’t do themselves. In most cases, the best leaders never ask their soldiers to do anything they haven’t already done before.



3. Take the high ground. A key principle in combat is that the “high ground” is always the most important piece of real estate – and many famous battles were fought over an especially important hilltop. In business we must also always fight for the “high ground.” Whether that is owning the category benefit (e.g. Folgers coffee owning the benefit of “waking up” or for Levi’s, the idea that you wear other jeans but you “Live in Levi’s”), or being on the moral high ground. One of the great joys of being at Levi Strauss & Co. is knowing that we have always stood for what is right, and have led for progress. Leaders determine the “high ground” they want to own, and then fight for it.

4. Casual pace, casual results. My first commander taught me to always walk with a sense of urgency. Because walking with a sense of urgency creates a sense of urgency. One of the best lessons I learned as a Brand Manager was to always create a sense of urgency (very different than a sense of crisis!) with my advertising agency. Have deadlines. Don’t dawdle. Create urgency, and you will get better work.



5. It’s better to make the wrong decision than to make no decision at all.Indecision can paralyze an organization. Strong leaders are not afraid to make decisive decisions. They take a stand. But, they also know when to make their decisions – they don’t do it based on emotion, in haste, or without enough data to be well-informed. Conversely, they know there is no such thing as “perfect data” and that “more data” can simply lead to paralysis by analysis. Leaders face times when they have to make tough, or unpopular decisions. Strong leaders remain visible during these challenging times.

6. When in doubt, attack. “An army that isn’t moving forward is dead,” said General Patton. In combat, like sports or business, momentum is everything, and the only way you create momentum is by moving forward, by attacking. If your business doesn’t have “momentum,” ask yourself how can you “attack” and create momentum for your brand?



7. Never “dig in” and defend. Rather, see Rule 6. There is a military saying that when you “dig in,” you are only “digging your own grave.” It’s harder for the enemy to hit a moving target than a stationary one. When faced with a competitive threat, think attack. Same is true in business. How can you use a competitive threat to grow your business and build share? How can you turn a competitive attack to your advantage with a well-planned counter attack?

8. Walk the track park. Want to find a military unit that is disciplined and prepared for combat? Walk the track park, where they keep their military vehicles. Disciplined units have vehicles parked in a perfect line, sparkling clean, fueled and ready to go to war at a moment’s notice. If they are disciplined here, you can be sure they are combat ready. Want to find a disciplined business unit? “Walk the track park.” Look at unexpected indicators and even the seemingly small things: How do they use research results? How secure is their office? Do they treat supplies as “money” and use them sparingly? Find discipline in unexpected places, and you’ll find the units who likely deliver exceptional results all the time.



9. Always have a “Plan B.” When lives are at stake, you must have a well-thought-out military plan. But, having your “combat plan” is not enough. Every good leader always has at least one fallback plan (and often more than one), because things never go as planned. There is no time to create a Plan B in the heat of the battle. It’s not enough to plan for “best case,” we need to plan for things not going as planned, and know ahead of time how we will respond.

10. Leaders lead from the front. In combat, the action takes place “in the front.” Strong leaders get there despite the fact that it can be a dangerous place. Same in business. Strong leaders get to where the day-to-day “combat” is being fought – in the markets, with customers, with consumers – and they listen to their “frontline commanders.”



I think back to those military days and am always struck by the longevity and ubiquity of those lessons. It clearly shaped me as a leader and these lessons have stuck with me for an entire career. I’m curious to learn if others have gotten some of their best professional advice from unique places – whether that’s your home life, a different industry, or perhaps even in your youth.

(Pics courtesy of,, 9idblogspot,,


Filed under Advocacies, Military

Counting My Blessings

By: Ribomapil “Dodong” E. Holganza
My late uncle, Tiyo Dodong, died last  January 25. He was a proud and principled man who was incarcerated for 3 years during Marcos’ martial law era. He provided the strong leadership that helped unite the anti-Marcos forces in Cebu during those trying years.  Even during his years in jail, he refused to let his spirits down, and instead continued the fight against those he felt were the ‘true enemies of the state, the real subversives’  who had prostituted the democratic processes and pillaged the wealth of the nation. Tiyo Dodong wrote this piece on his third Christmas in jail, still unbroken and unbowed. More than ever, he is convinced that he is a man made for others, and that he must make use of his life for the good of many. Many thanks to my cousins, Joeyboy and Rosemarie, for providing me insights and pictures of my favorite freedom fighter. Farewell, Tiyo Dodong!!!

Dodong’s remains are brought to the Cebu Memorial Park. (courtesy of the

Last Christmas was my third Christmas in jail. It is such a poignant and traumatic experience. One would never know how it feels to be caged during special days. It is doubly frustrating and disgusting to be incarcerated for a crime that you did not commit, denied your right to bail, deprived of your personal liberty, and then left to languish in jail to rot without the benefit of trial.

Dodong was unfazed when Marcos declared Martial Law in 1972. (courtesy of planet philippines)

It is revolting that all around us are people who are truly the enemies of the state, the real subversives who have been subverting the faith and confidence of the Filipinos in our democratic processes, who pillage and plunder the patrimony of this nation, and yet are enjoying their loot and power very well beyond the reach of our anemic, discriminatingly inutile judicial system.


Arrested and detained without bail, he brought the fight against the dictatorship from his cell. (courtesy of

While it is true that I have my own share of melancholy inside my cell, there are also ample moments of joy. So I would rather count my blessings now, instead of belaboring my misfortune. After all, this is still a season of love and peace to people of good or even ill will.


No freedom? no worries. i can campaign from my jail cell. (courtesy of rosemarie holganza borromeo)

Now I have the blessing of a deeper insight on our people and the community, our friends and relations, our foes and detractors. I can now distinguish a true friend from an opportunist, a loving relation to one who is only plastic, a principled foe from an envious character. I never had this luxury of knowing people more until I was imprisoned.


The young handsome freedom fighter, after his arrest by police elements. (courtesy of rosemarie holganza borromeo)

Being in prison is an enriching experience. It has afforded me with the chance to test the real mettle of my capacity to sacrifice, the strength of character of the immediate members of my family, the true measure of the length and breadth of the love and devotion that only a wife and mother could show amidst our personal tragedy. I am more than assured now that I stand on the bedrock of true love, faith and devotion, and I can face adversities with more courage, vigor and resolve.

I can now appreciate better the wonders of God’s creations and His many mysterious ways, as a true Christian should, things I took for granted when I was still as free as a lark. I never knew the true meaning of freedom, until I was deprived of it. Praying then was more mechanical than real. There was always that gaping distance between me and my God. The absence of intimacy was both apparent and real. Not so anymore as I can feel His presence keeping watch over me. Despite my weaknesses, He had never deserted me. I was made to feel forlorn countless of times but never was I forsaken.

Campaigning from his cell. (courtesy of Rosemarie Holganza Borromeo)

There were moments in the past when I felt that my head was above the clouds forgetting that I have my feet of clay. I now realize that I am nothing but moulded dust created unto His likeness and image. That one’s mortal existence in the material plane is a preparation of a permanent haven for our astral body. That life is too short and it has to be used for the good of many.


While in jail, he has his share of mag covers and intrigues. (courtesy of Rosemarie Holganza Borromeo)

Self preservation and the law of the jungle is the prevailing concern of the mortal. Cowardice is bliss in the law of survival; and yet, as one searches his inner being, he will come to realize that he is not only made of flesh and bones. He also has a soul, ideals, goals, and more than that, he was also made for others. That one can never aspire to have eternity if during his mortal existence, he was only for himself.

Future Prez Cory Aquino visits Dodong. (courtesy of Rosemarie Borromeo)

 In prison, one can reflect and ponder upon the depth and relevance of spirituality as against the almost meaningless material matters that govern all our mortal endeavors. Now I understand fully why the angels in their simplicity are more beautiful than the words poets may use to describe them, or the images captured by masters in their canvass. Indeed material matters are for the flesh while the noble and the sublime, exalted as they are, are for the spirit. After taking stock of the year that is about to end, my sojourn in jail only serves to galvanize to its highest degree my resolute commitment to fight and to struggle some more for the cause of the people. It is my perception that the oppressed Filipinos have already passed their darkest night, and we are now witnessing the flickering lights of the early dawn of our salvation; that the days of tyranny are about to end; that the wounded tigers in office now roaming and wildly pillaging in the corridors of power may soon be swept away by a flood of an enraged humanity; that true democracy shall be restored from the ashes of a nation torn and shattered to pieces by a reckless and irresponsible leadership; and the Filipinos shall vow that never again shall we let another tyrant rule our beloved land.
Photos courtesy of Rosemarie Holganza Borromeo



Filed under Advocacies, Family and Friends

Typhoon Haiyan: The Strongest to Ever Hit Land


So much have been said about the heartbreaking devastation and pain brought by Typhoon Haiyan on the Philippines more than a year ago. Reading this and watching the video (yes, please watch the video) brought back haunting memories of those difficult and desperate times. But it also reminded me of the poignant episodes of humanity when our global community got together to lend us a helping hand.

We at Habitat Philippines continue to soldier on in our efforts to provide adequate shelter for the victims, and it is my hope that this article rekindle that desire to help among the well-intentioned peoples of the world. haiyan

Originally posted on A Changing Climate:

The Philippines is a country consisting of over 7,000 islands and is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to climate change. The Philippines is use to experiencing typhoons, but Haiyan in 2013 was the strongest ever to hit land, killing at at least 6,300 people. Many are saying that climate change will make these super typhoons more frequent and stronger.

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February 17, 2015 · 8:15 am

Dragon Boating Is Now in Cebu!!!

Would you like to look good, be fit and become a world champion in a sport that’s fun and sexy? Yeah, you can be all that and more, if you join us as we bring Dragon Boating to the frontiers of Cebu and the islands of Visayas and Mindanao.


Be fit and travel the world!!! (courtesy of PDBF)

Dragon Boating is a fun sport where we Filipinos can excel in. In fact, not a lot of people know that the Philippines owns the world records for Dragon Boating’s 200-meter open category with a time of 40.02 seconds; and the 200-meter mixed category with a time of 43.50 seconds. The 200-meter open features 20 paddlers, a drummer and an oarsman. It is the showcase event in the Dragon Boat World Championship, just like the 100-meter men’s sprints is the premiere event in the Olympic Track and Field competition. The 200-meter mixed category, on the other hand, is composed of teams with 12 male and 8 female paddlers.  And we are proud of the fact that our paddlers have consistently been among the top contenders in this sport; and this is due to the fact that, coming from an archipelagic country, it is just so natural for us Filipinos to paddle around in our bancas as we explore our vast seas.


Making the country proud, and keeping a healthy body. (Courtesy of PDBF)

In the first-ever IDBF Dragon Boat World Cup competition held in Fuzhou, China last June, the Philippines surprised the highly partisan crowd by clinching 2nd overall (behind China) despite coming in on the day  of the races itself. Not given much of a chance with the many obstacles they had to overcome to be able to compete, our team shocked everyone by taking 2 of the 5 events being contested, and almost humiliating China for the overall championship trophy!  Host country and heavy favorite, China, would clinch the overall crown, but the underdog Pinoys would catch the imagination of the crowd by fighting tooth-and-nail, and giving the Chinese team the fight of their lives.


Paddlers frantically spraying water in Roxas Blvd. (Courtesy of the PDBF)

Unlike basketball or other sport, Dragon Boating doesn’t need height or bulk in order to excel. What the sport needs is teamwork and synchronization; 20 paddlers under the baton of a seaborne conductor, rowing in unison, going towards one direction, with the same force and speed. Hence, it needs discipline, camaraderie, and sacrifice; so that the strength of all are harnessed into one single, powerful, yet graceful stroke.


A victorious Philippine team (Courtesy of the PDBF)

This will be in full display toward the end of this year, as Cebu City will host a big dragon boat competition for the first time. This will be an exciting prospect for our young athletes who may wish to try a new adventure. Dragon boating will not only allow them to develop their bodies and minds, it will also open up avenues for travel and outside education. And as the sport grows, its contributions to the province’s youth development and tourism programs grow as well. Dragon Boating also offers opportunities for cleaning up the environment, building up a commercial base for paddlers, while promoting cultural development for Cebu and its neighboring areas.


Exciting action in Macau. (Courtesy of

So come and join the Dragon Boat Cebu Central Philippines, and be at the helm of the sports’ development in Cebu and in the region.  Early registrants will be gifted with discounted membership rates, plus free 1-month training on the rudiments of dragon-boating. For individuals or groups in Cebu interested to try Dragon Boating, please email or call Pons Alvarez at: 09335076139. See you soon!

(Pictures courtesy of the Philippine Dragon Boat Federation,,,,,,,,,


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Ateneo – La Salle on Collision Course in UAAP Women’s Volleyball

For more stories on women’s volleyball:

Is Women’s Volleyball ready for the Limelight?

Women’s Volleyball on the Rise With Shakey’s

‘Heart Strong’ Strikes Back

Hats of to ‘Heart-Strong’ Ateneo!!!

Watch Out, PBA; Move Over, Azkals; the Volleybelles are Coming!!!

 (Photos courtesy of,,, the,,, ryan ong) 




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Is The Pacman-Mayweather Tiff Finally For Real Now?

It seems that the highly-anticipated super-fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao will push through this May after all! Finally. After a painful on-again, off-again roller coaster ride that had many boxing fans dizzy and puking with exasperation, the dream bout is reportedly closer to becoming a reality than it has ever been before. EVER.


Is this fight finally on? (Courtesy of

Floyd and Manny actually bumped into each other in a Miami Heat game at the American Airlines Arena last January 28 after Manny’s flight out of Miami got postponed. This was after Manny had completed his stint as a judge in the Miss Universe contest held in Miami. Some say the chance-encounter was not a coincidence but a carefully stage-managed event meant to whet the appetites of the fanatics out there. Whatever it was, sportsfans jostled in excitement and anticipation as Floyd went over to Manny, who was seated on the opposite side of the arena. They then talked briefly and exchanged phone numbers. They reportedly met again for about an hour in the privacy of Manny’s hotel.


Floyd made his way to Manny’s ringside seat and they briefly talk. (Courtesy of

Later reports would suggest that the two protagonists expressed their genuine desire to get the fight done. And this is what really matters most, that both warriors truly want the fight done. That said, only some minor issues need to be ironed out now. This would mean that Showtime – which has a contract with Floyd – and HBO – which owns a similar contract with Manny – will need to put their heads together to hammer out mutually acceptable terms for a joint telecast.


The Heat overhead scoreboard welcomed the 2 ring icons to the delight of the crowd. (Courtesy of

Alex Ariza, the former Pacquiao-fitness-guru-turned-Mayweather-lackey, had earlier doused cold water on the ongoing negotiations, saying that Mayweather would be fighting on May 2nd, but that it would be with a fighter not named Manny. He cited Bob Arum’s presence as the main hindrance in the talks. Floyd would further add that “Manny is just a pawn in the ongoing negotiations. He doesn’t have a say.”


It’s Offense versus Defense in the Battle of the Century. (Courtesy of

Fans however would have none of Floyd’s evading tactics any longer. In a recent appearance in a Los Angeles Clippers game at the Staples Centre in LA, fans started chanting: “We want Pacquiao, we want Pacquiao!” The chant would later grow louder: “Fight Pacquiao, fight Pacquiao.” This clearly showed the fans’ sentiments with regards the biggest non-fight of the century. Evidently, with the general perception overwhelmingly against Floyd  Mayweather, he has nowhere to go but inside the square arena to face his dreaded dance partner, Manny.

Indeed, it is time. Man up, Floyd. Lace up your boots, put on your gloves, and come out of that dressing room ready to bring out your best boxing performance ever.  For all the world to see. For all the millions you will earn. For the benefit of Boxing and all its fans the world over. Yes, folks, we are finally going to be treated to a bout of epic proportions. Yes, it is Showtime once again!!  Let’s get ready to rumbleeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!

More on Pacquiao-Mayweather:

A Mayweather-Pacquiao Fight This May?

Will Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather Fight the Pacman or Not?

(Photos courtesy of,,,,,,



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The Struggle and Hindsight

by Bong Wenceslao

-from SunStar’s ‘Candid Thoughts’ dated January 27, 2015  

My uncle, Ribomapil ‘Dodong’ Holganza, passed away last Sunday, 25 January 2015. He will be remembered with fondness and love. This article below is a tribute to Dodong Holganza, whose determined defiance against the Marcos dictatorship during the Martial Law years defined him. Bong Wenceslao, himself a former detainee during his younger days, writes with pride about those difficult days; in the hope that we may remember, appreciate, and learn to thank the nameless people who – like Dodong – risked life and limb for this thing they called freedom. This is Bong’s salute to our Martial Law heroes, as embodied by my Tio Dodong.  


The anti-Marcos watchdog.

THERE is a difference between living in the moment and looking back at that moment. In my experience, the difference is in the degree of certainty in assessing the moment and projecting its direction.

Remember the truism that hindsight is always 20/20? It means that people usually have a perfect understanding of an event “after” it happened. Before that event happened?

Uncertainty. Meaning that the vision is blurred.

I once lived inside the camp while undergoing “rehabilitation.” I swept the yard and, when somebody decided to fund the re-operation of the camp canteen, washed the dishes. Those were uncertain times, leading me to ask often: what will my future be?

One of my captors assured me that I do have a future still. I wasn’t sure then. But when I look back at that moment, I can now say that I shouldn’t have worried because I still had many years to live and many chances to grab ahead of me. Then again at that time, how can I really be sure of what my future would be?

Which brings me to my point. Years before the 1986 Edsa People Power uprising toppled the Marcos dictatorship, nobody actually knew for certain how to end the rule of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos, or whether it would end at all. Those who lived and struggled during those “dark days” asked often: what would this country’s future be?

I recall that uncertainty when I remember Ribomapil “Dodong” Holganza Sr. and that fateful day on Christmas Day in 1982 when he and a few others were arrested in a house along Lopez Jaena St. for allegedly plotting to oust the Marcos dictatorship by armed means.


Tio Dodong’s signature photo: defiant, unbowed, even in jail…

I didn’t know Holganza personally, unlike his son, Jose Ribomapil “Joeyboy” Holganza Jr., whom I know during our activist days. In fact, our group of militants viewed Holganza and the other local political leaders who fought the dictator in a collective sense: as merely anti-Marcos, as opposed to social, reformers.

But I personally considered him the more “progressive” of the anti-Marcos political leaders in Cebu. That showed in the manner he delivered his message. He wasn’t bombastic or loud but I admired the way he strung Cebuano words together. I can only identify one other leader with that style of speaking, the former rebel soldier and senator Gregorio Honasan.

Later generations who were either too young to appreciate the events leading to the toppling of the dictatorship or were not yet born at that time seem to consider the 1986 Edsa uprising like it followed the normal course of events—-meaning they think it was that easy. But there was uncertainty in the outcome of the anti-Marcos struggle–which should make them appreciate those who persevered in it and even died for it.


A pleasant surprise: recognition is given from across the seas.

Many pushed for a peaceful, or parliamentary, struggle to end the dictatorship, but others used guns and battled Marcos’s minions in the mountains and in the urban areas.

Other thought sowing chaos was the way, and detonated bombs. One thing these groups and individuals could not be faulted for was refusing to act. Instead, they risked everything.


Recognition for fighting the good fight.

That struggle was waged only a few decades ago but it seemed eons now. Its participants and leaders—or to put it in another way–those who survived, have gotten old or, like the older Holganza and Nenita “Inday” Cortes-Daluz before him, have moved to the great beyond.

I hope the succeeding generations wouldn’t forget that episode in our nation’s history when Filipinos, including Cebuanos, stood up for what is right. I hope that when they look back at the struggle against the Marcos dictatorship, they wouldn’t use the benefit of hindsight.

That struggle was never easy and was fraught with uncertainties, thus the need to pay homage to those who either participated in it or led it—like Holganza, who died last Sunday. He will be remembered.



Filed under Advocacies, Family and Friends

Savoring the Sights and Sounds of Sinulog 2015

Wow!!! What can I say? Cebuanos really know how to party! With a capital P! No wonder lots of foreigners converge in Cebu City every end of the Christmas season. They go there to extend the holidays, party like there’s no tomorrow, before finally going home – all bushed, broke and bleary-eyed – to their more sedate and proper worlds.


(Courtesy of

This year’s Sinulog Festival had to compete with the bigger headline which was Pope Francis’ historic visit to the Philippines. This, coupled with the threat of an incoming storm named ‘Amang’, would have affected attendance in the festivities. But no, there was no shortage of crowds; no lack of color, noise and excitement, as Cebu’s Sinulog reaffirmed its position as the premiere festival in the country today. “This is definitely much, much larger than the Mardi Gras in New Orleans”, quipped a wild and woozy Californian I befriended in the streets.


(Courtesy of

Sinulog is a week-long cultural and religious extravaganza that culminates on the 3rd Sunday of January. It is a commemoration of Cebu’s – and the Philippines’ – acceptance of the Christian faith, with the Santo Nino as the focal point in the people’s baptism to Catholicism. It is said that the festival’s basic dance steps were taken from Queen Juana in the olden times, who danced with the image of the Santo Nino in her arms to ward off evil spirits and all forms of sickness among her people.


(Courtesy of

This year’s celebrations had a lot of glitzy events – from the procession to the fluvial parade to the re-enactment, even a Sinulog for Kids, etc – but the highlight of it all would have to be the grand street parade last Sunday which lasted practically the entire day. Participants dressed in dazzling, colorful costumes, coming from all over the Philippines, tried to outdance each other to the frenzied beat of native gongs, drums, trumpets and anything else noisy.


(Courtesy of

And with good reason. The Sinulog Dance Contest, which culminated in the Cebu City Sports Complex, had 3 categories – the Street Dancing Category, the Free Interpretation and the Base Category, with each offering a prize money worth P1 million!


(courtesy of cbholganza)

Towards the evening, the much-awaited street dancing followed. As the night sky lit brightly with dazzling fireworks, the streets were covered with a merry combination of booze, good food and great company. Indeed, it was a wild and wonderful way to meet new friends.


(Courtesy of

Kudos to Mayor Mike Rama and his snappy team for a job well done. Way to go, Cebu!!!

(Pictures courtesy of,,,,,,,,,,,, francis macatulad and cbholganza)


Filed under Advocacies, Family and Friends, Travel