By NIMROD NL QUIÑONES
Gong Xi Fa Cai!
Wishing everyone, good health and prosperity in the year of the wooden horse.
I found the time to write again after typhoon Basyang gave me a sleepless night as I had to constantly check our surroundings and the nearby Pakigne river in Minglanilla, which is just meters away from my home.
Now that I am here, let me share with you some good things that are coming for the year of the wooden horse.
Before the storm could hit, I took time to meet with my former judo coach and talk to him about setting up a new club.
Leonardo ‘Jojo’ Roa, Jr. had already put so many things in place that when I broached the topic, he relayed to me what he has already prepared.
So, we will officially set up the Hijos de Roa Judo Club. Jojo and his brothers – Maling, Gogo, Andre, and Jinggoy, are all judokas thanks to their father the late Leonardo ‘Baby’ Roa, Sr., who has been enshrined into the Cebu Sports Hall of Fame.
The HdR Judo Club will not only be a Roa family affair even if Dr. Marco Roa Frias, son of their eldest sibling and only sister Maling, is one of the first members.
Initially, the club will be practicing at the USC Gym along Sanciangko St. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 7 to 7 p.m.
This is a different schedule from that of the USC Judo Club, which practices on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, just to avoid confusion.
I have given my commitment to Jojo to be one of his assistant instructors, which brings us back to our heydays at the University of the Philippines Cebu College.
I have long dreamed of making it back to the dojo, not anymore to be a fierce competitor, but to teach and with Jojo’s move to also teach again, I found a strong pillar to support me.
The club is open to all those interested especially those who are interested to learn the Japanese martial art.
Many moons ago (to borrow Jojo’s term), our judo classes at UP Cebu were always full and we had an equal number of male and female students.
Atty. Vicente Fernandez II, another student of Jojo and now executive vice president of the Philippine Judo Federation (PJF) said he is happy with the development and urged his former students at UC Judo Club to practice with HdR.
We are just starting to roll but I am sure that this one is a commitment that we will continue.
I also got in touch with Irene Sarausad-Watanabe, mother of SEA Games judo gold medallist Kiyomi Watanabe, to tell her of our plans.
Irene, who is from Toledo City, shared with me many of her plans also and we hope that someday, a judo club will also be organized in her hometown.
The year of the wooden horse shall be the start of our return to the loving embrace of the sport that gave us a lot when we were much younger and so much lighter.
The discipline coupled with a lot of hard work brought us not only medals and accolade, but more importantly taught us several lessons in life.
MILESTONES: Belated happy birthday to my mother-in-law Herminiana Gabuya Reyes, who turned 83 years old last January 31.
The same goes to Cleofe Delfino-Claridad, Warlita Pacional-Basubas, Ormoc City Councilor Bennet Pongos, and my cousin Merci Versales-Capili.
Today’s greetings go to my cousins Jose Carlos Q. Miranda and Iris Nillas and to Jovi Abad.
Congratulations to my fellow UPian Quennie Sanchez-Bronce, who is the new editor-in-chief of The Freeman newspaper.
More power to all of you!