ORTIGOZA: This man wants to beat Brian Lim

February 11, 2020 at 2:47 am Leave a comment

Michael and Belen who?

Laoag City Mayor Michael Keon is not only the nephew of the saluyot late despot Ferdinand Marcos but the sports icon of Ilocos Norte who dominated players of public and private  elementary and secondary schools  in the provinces of Ilocos Sur, La Union and Pangasinan during his heydays.

This was when his sports facilities and training benefited  tremendously from the graces and greases of the dictator in the Palace near the Pasig River.


Belen T. Fernandez was the sports aficionado mayor of the Lilliputian Dagupan City, ala Singapore versus  “Southeast Asian neighbors Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia”, that waylaid all the players in those provinces and their cities’ division offices in Region -1.

When broadcaster Sammy Losalla asked his fellow radio tandem at Sonshine Radio Harold Barcelona what are the three neighbors of Singa-4, Harold immediately cited for all and sundry to hear ”Madali lang iyan. Singa-1, Singa-2, and Singa-3!” Ha ha ha susmariosep I digressed again.

Not only in the Region-1 Athletic  Association (R1AA) Meet, Fernandez’s chutzpah could be seen on the national and regional championship last year by clinching the Presidential Award for Child-Friendly Municipalities and Cities (PACFMC) as the “Most Child-Friendly City” under the independent component city in the country and the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) Award from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) for the third year in a row in 2017.

But Fernandez could not engineer a third repeat or grand slam from being back-to-back champions in 2018 and 2019 Meet in Lingayen, Pangasinan because she was beaten in a hair-thin election result by  mayorship rival now Mayor Brian Lim – the son of her political nemesis former mayor Benjie S. Lim.

That  was a close shaved lead 1,239 (1.4%) votes among the 97, 073 voters in the 31 villages commercial hub of the Ilocos Region.

But unknown to both Fernandez and Lim, Dr. Enrique R. Macayan, Supervisor School Governance & Operations Division  has been smiling these days since he saw a crack on the sport’s armor of the younger Lim.

Dr. Macayan who?

He architected the rampage of gold medals harvest and championships for several of years of the Department of Education – Pangasinan -II based in the huge Eastern Province.

“Give me P10 million budget in Pang-II and I’ll beat either Belen Fernandez or Brian Lim,” confidently declared to this writer by Macayan  who handled the sports future of the kids in the one city and 20 towns Eastern and those municiipalities in the Fourth Congressional District in Pangasinan  where he shoehorned lately for his successive failed R1AA championship bids because of the shoe string P5 million budget given by the provincial government and the DepEd to him.

A Dagupan player , during Fernandez time, whose allowance ran up to thousands of pesos not including their branded sportswears like sneakers would pity the state of the players in Pangasinan-2 and probably the mammoth 15,000 strong teachers’ Pangasinan -I and other provincial and city division offices given to each of the players primordially by the provincial government.

Pag maluwag ang budget bigay kami P500 bawat bata entire one week pag available. Pag wala P300 and uniform lang national goal. Bawat  players pangarap makarating ng Palarong Pambansa,” he averred that huge allowances are not big deal for the kids because they have moist eye to play in the national game.

He said he is not afraid of Lim and his financial juggernaut he gets in the coffer thus he can beat him just like how he decked out those players and coaches of the other division offices in the Ilocos Region.

“Wala na si Belen. Kung ang support ni Belen e hindi ganoon ang gagawin ni Mayor Lim malamang baka masungkit namin”.

He fears however another man who gave him countless disappointment for the championships in the 2010s.

He said former presidential nephew Michael Keon returned to Ilocoslavakia as mayor of Laoag City.

“Ang kinakatakutan ko diyan iniisip  ko naman Ilocos Norte kasi nakabalik na si Michael Keon. Mayor siya ng Laoag pero pamangkin niya iyong governor ng Norte puwede niyang maimplusiyahan iyon,” he said of  Keon and Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc

He said players of Ilocos Norte have been training since October last year.

After Keon stepped down as sport’s king of Ilokoslovakia, Macayan strutted his stuffs before the awed public when he engineered Pangasinan-II championship streaks in years 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2017.

But he became insecure when Dagupan City Mayor Fernandez  summoned coaches from Manila  with fat checks probably and honed through the gargantuan city’s wherewithal her players to excellence.

In the March 2017 R1AA Meet held at the Qurino Stadium in Bantay, Ilocos Sur, Dagupan City breathed at the back of the neck of Pang-II like an albatross with 48 golds to the latter 52 that was declared a champion.

A year before Dagupan City was the first runner up on the same Meet.

Fernandez, a basketball player during her teen, catapulted the coastal city by wrestling from perennial champion Pangasinan – II in the February 10-15, 2018 R1AA held in Alaminos City. It earned 71 gold, 51 silver and 34 bronze medals there while Pangasinan II  and Pangasinan-1 settled for the first and  second runner up positions.

 Finnela Sim, executive director of the Dagupan City Sports Commission (DCSC), said Dagupan not only won the annual sports event for the first time but also rewrote 14 meet records in swimming.

In March 6 to 11, 2019  it became a back -to- back champion in the Meet in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte by amassing 87 gold, 63 silver, and 56 bronze medals.

Macayan said Mayor Fernandez  allocated P10 million to bludgeon into submission the city’s player-rivals at Region-1 in the sports meet of 2019.

Dagupan City, during the time of former Mayor Benjie Lim leaped as high as “Best in Uniform” only compared to the pathetic accomplishments of Lim’s predecessors.  Sports kibitzers and Dr. Macayan saw the writing on the wall: Dagupan with all the zeal of its stakeholders and dough dangled to coaches and players was destined to the championship against its poorly funded counter parts in the region.

Dagupan City has an average annual appropriation budget of more than a billion of pesos that makes her probably the richest per capita in the four provinces and nine cities’ Region-1.

Can Brian emulate Belen amid the threat and bravado of Dr Macayan?

Let’’s cross our fingers with bated breath how Brian will disappoint the sports czar of Eastern Pangasinan of the glory this coming R1AAA at Capital Town, Lingayen in March 31 to April 7, 2020.

Son of a gun, it was originally schedule on February 19 to 26, 2020 but the specter of  the Novel Corona Virus deterred the power-that-be and frantically reset it.

(You can read my selected columns at http://mortzortigoza.blogspot.com and articles at Pangasinan News Aro. You can send comments too at totomortz@yahoo.com)

Entry filed under: News.

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