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POC’s suspension of PATAFA paves way for Obiena to join SEA Games

March 17, 2022 3:53 p.m.

THE Philippine Olympic Committee Executive Board suspended the national sports associations of athletics and tennis during its special meeting on Thursday, a move that opened the door for world-ranked pole vaulter Ernest John “EJ” Obiena to participate at least in the Vietnam 31st Southeast Asian Games in May.

POC president Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino said the Philippine Tennis Association was suspended for its non-compliance with an order from the International Tennis Federation to amend its charter and hold fresh elections to select a truly representative set of board members.

The Philta has been serving a two-year suspension by the ITF since late 2020 and the sanction faces extension unless the NSA complies with the world tennis body’s instruction.

The Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association, Tolentino said, was also suspended for failing to serve its purpose as an NSA, which supposedly “has the dedication and commitment toward the development of the sport, promoting the ideals of the Olympic Movement and the spirit of sportsmanship.”

“Our constitution states that POC may suspend for any reason. However, it’s transparent that PATAFA has deliberately and intentionally disregarded our basic principles of promoting sports and development,” Tolentino said.
“Unfortunately, the non-endorsement of EJ has created a national issue,” Tolentino added. “EJ Obiena, under our International Olympic Committee Charter, has two reasons to be endorsed—sports merit and inspiration to the youth.”

Tolentino said that despite sincere efforts by Obiena to mediate, “PATAFA prioritized its pride, and it saddens [me] to look closely on a chance slowly gripping away. They have withheld an opportunity of the Filipino people to have another world record.”

PATAFA denied Obiena’s request that he be endorsed to the world indoor championships that start Friday in Belgrade as well as to the Vietnam SEA Games, Eugene (Oregon) world championships in July and Hangzhou (China) Asian Games in September.

“The time is clearly now for EJ who is mentally and physically prepared,” Tolentino said. “We are in a reachable milestone within our grasp.”

The suspension will be effective for 90 days and will be ratified by the POC General Assembly during its regular meeting on March 30. If ratified, PATAFA will not have any authority over the national athletics team to the SEA Games, giving Obiena a chance to defend his gold medal in Vietnam.

But Tolentino said both suspensions could be dismissed sooner than their terms.
“If PHILTA complies with the ITF order, and the ITF accepts PHILTA’s compliance, the suspension of the tennis association will be lifted immediately,” he said.

For the PATAFA, it looked simpler.

“If the PSC’s mediation effort over PATAFA and EJ [Obiena] is completed and ironed out, its suspension will also be lifted,” said Tolentino, adding a separate resolution on the automatic lifting of the suspensions were also forged by the board.

Nine members of the board voted for the suspension, while two—Charlie Ho (netball) and Cynthia Carrion-Norton (gymnastics) abstained. POC Chairman Steve Hontiveros and International Olympic Committee Representative to the Philippines Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski were absent from the special board meeting.

The suspensions will give the POC direct supervision over PHILTA and PATAFA’s national athletes—including Obiena—coaches and sporting officials, while financial matters will be under the control of the Philippine Sports Commission.

“These suspensions are actually not a landmark decision by the POC,” Tolentino said. “We have at least two precedents when similar athlete-NSA issues rocked Philippine sports in the past.”
Former Asian sprint queen De vega was endorsed by the POC, then under the late Gov. Jose Sering, for her participation in the Asean Cup.

The late Leopoldo Serantes, Tolentino said, could not have clinched a boxing bronze medal at the 1988 Seoul Olympics if the POC didn’t endorse his participation. The boxing association at that time was experiencing leadership intramurals between Roilo Golez and Mel Lopez.

The suspensions were meted a day after Senator Pia Cayetano led the filing of a motion to cite the PATAFA in contempt for disobeying the Senate Committee on Sports’ order for PATAFA’s to amicably settle its differences with Obiena.

The contempt charges also stemmed from the PATAFA filing a case against Obiena and the POC with the  Court of Arbitration for Sport. PATAFA filed the case with the CAS four days after it agreed to undergo mediation during a Senate hearing on February 7.

“PATAFA filed a case before the CAS in Switzerland. This is an act of bad faith, as PATAFA practically and effectively closed any possibility of amicable settlement with Obiena,” Cayetano said.

NEWS

URCC 81: Decades of Success happens Dec. 6 in Okada

November 27, 2022 7:22 p.m.

THE Universal Reality Combat Championship will celebrate two decades of greatness titled the “Decades of Success” in a fight night on December 6, featuring the country’s best mixed martial artists at the Okada Manila in Parañaque City. 

Three years since the last time they held their last main event, URCC founding president Alvin Aguilar announced the coming URCC 81 will definitely be a night to remember with events like the 3 Versus 3, MMA fight and the bare-knuckle bouts.

“Our first main event in three years will definitely be an unforgettable night in mixed martial arts. We have a lot of good fighters and everyone is very excited,” Aguilar said. 

The last time URCC held a main event — Retribution— was in November 2019, at the same venue. Despite the pandemic, URCC didn’t stop as it held three fight nights when the government finally allowed contact sports. 

In celebrating URCC’s main event return, Aguilar will be having Team Philippines of Sugar Ray “Mammoth” Estroso, Caloy “Bad Boy” Baduria and Boss Bullet Manliclic taking up against South Koreans Jeong Minhun, Choi Wontae and Jeon Youngjun in an exciting 3 versus 3 event.

“We have to go up against other Asian countries before we start expanding. So we meet Korea then later on China again and then we will invite people from Russia and the USA. This is the fourth time we will be holding this 3 versus 3 fight,” Aguilar said, who also expects the other events to live up to the hype.

A URCC welterweight interim championship is also set between Filipino Arvin Chan and American Will Chope as the other highlight of the main event presented by Okada Manila and sponsored by Winzir.

URCC Global Chairman Arnold Vegafria said the promotions have been evolving since 2002, becoming a household name in the local mixed martial arts industry, where it discovered great MMA fighters and promoted quality fights abroad. 

For inquiries about tickets sale, go to www.urcc.online and download app https://apps.wix.com/place-invites/join-lp/b4e05b90-55a0-40a8-8fac-17ccf4a2c074?ref=pre_banner_top which is available for iOS and Google.

Other MMA undercard bouts feature Dunlee Stewart facing John Tirona in a 170 lbs bout, followed by Gester Maglaque meeting Mariano Jones in an 185 lbs bout; Kimbert Alintozon battling Junie Kimayong (125 lbs); Rhyle Lugo clashing against Alex Aballe (145 lbs) and Eros Baluyot taking on MJ Abrillo (125 lbs). 

For the thrilling bare-knuckle competitions, Damsa Abrenica collides with Joseph “King Pinoy” Cabral, while Dondon Serrano squares off with Sherwin Niro and Denzel Dimaguila fights Mark Jalaron.  

Details of the fight and future fight cards are available to download at https://apps.wix.com/place-invites/join-lp/b4e05b90-55a0-40a8-8fac-17ccf4a2c074?ref=pre_banner_top, which is available for iOS and Google.

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BingoPlus Foundation’s FutureSmart Scholarship Program 2022 funds 10 IT scholars

Nov. 21, 2022 12:51 p.m.

BingoPlus Foundation Inc., the corporate arm of leisure entertainment brand BingoPlus, has made education one of its causes to support with a PhP6 million scholarship granted to iACADEMY under its FutureSmart Scholarship 2022 Program. 

Officers of the Foundation signed an agreement with representatives of iACADEMY to sponsor ten students last November 2 at the head office of Leisure & Resorts World Corporation (LRWC) at Tektite Building in Pasig. 

With its specialization in the field of information technology, iACADEMY was seen as the perfect partner school for BP Foundation as it aligns well with the Foundation’s vision to create IT-competent professionals in the future. BingoPlus Foundation firmly believes that education and technology are important components of nation-building and has thus prioritized the FutureSmart Scholarship 2022 Program as one of its top Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives of the year. 

Through the scholarship, the Foundation aims to address some challenges faced by the education sector to provide more and better educational opportunities to the younger generation and thus leave its footprint in the building of a better society. 

LRWC President Andy Tsui said, “We wish to inspire the younger generation and make their dreams come true.” 

“We are truly honored to welcome iACADEMY as a new partner, and we’re grateful to be given the opportunity to contribute to keeping students on the path towards a brighter future,” said Jasper Vicencio, President of BingoPlus and Trustee of BingoPlus Foundation Inc.

The FutureSmart Scholarship 2022 Program will be launched in the current school year of iACADEMY. 

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Game on! SM Christmas Village is back—and bigger than ever

November 17, 2022 3:50 p.m.

We’re calling it: Christmas 2022 is going to be one for the books. 

The past two years saw Filipinos dialing down on the holiday celebrations as we exercised caution against the spread of the COVID-19 virus. It’s no easy feat, too, given that our Pasko is easily the biggest event of the year. The good—no, aweSM—news? This 2022, SM is set to give you a Christmas comeback like no other with the return of the SM Christmas Village, now on its second year!

In case you didn’t know: SM Supermalls is the very first mall in the Philippines to venture into the metaverse, giving you the first mobile brand rewards app that provides customers with fun and exciting ways to score amazing deals, earn free shopping money, and win wow-worthy prizes—anytime, anywhere!

And here’s proof of just how amazing it is: The pilot run of the ChristmaSaya Village in 2021 recently won four accolades at this year’s Vega Awards, earning nods for outstanding innovation in the digital and virtual realm. Wowza!

Enter the Mall-tiverse
Here’s how it works: To join, a user simply has to register for an account online via smmetaverse.world. Once registered, you gain access to the virtual SM Christmas Village, where you can explore different zones, interact with other players, and collect virtual coins to unlock exclusive shopping vouchers and earn raffle entries. And just like at SM Supermalls nationwide, #YoureAlwaysWelcomeHere

Excited for supercharged virtual fun? Here’s a quick look at what’s in store for you this year:

  • Bigger rewards, bigger prizes 

If you loved last year’s vouchers, you’re in for even better rewards this time. SM has partnered with more of your favorite brands to give you exclusive shopping discounts and deals (a total of ₱2M worth of vouchers are up for grabs!) and is set to give away a whopping ₱1M worth of raffle prizes. Plus, one lucky winner will drive home the ultimate Christmas gift: a brand new Suzuki S-Presso!

  • An expansive game world awaits
    Your gaming experience gets a level up with improved game designs and an exciting game world featuring new areas to explore—from shopping and dining zones to entertainment zones—like you’re really at an SM Supermall! Experience augmented reality malling, e-meet friends, and play fun games to earn virtual coins. Before that, have fun customizing your own avatar down to the hair, outfit, and accessories (shopping bag, included), so you can create a character that’s uniquely you. 
  • Enjoy fresh in-game features
    Get your family members in on the Christmas fever with the multiplayer option and stay connected while you play with the new chat and video-calling features. (Looking at you, social butterflies!) Be on the lookout for pop-ups, too, featuring special brand deets and surprise deals with every visit.
  • Earn shopping money every day

The more virtual coins you collect in-app, the more “shopping money” you get, which you can use to redeem vouchers from your favorite brands. Once you’ve claimed your vouchers virtually, you can use them at participating SM Mall branches nationwide—to pay for your Christmas shopping, dining, and more! You can also use your coins to unlock raffle entries and win one of the 20 major prizes at the end of the year. 

Some tips! 

  • Visit the village every day to earn more coins faster.
  • Excited to shop? You can spend your coins as soon as you earn them, but it pays to be patient, too. By accumulating your coins first, you’ll be able to redeem bigger rewards later on!
  • Make sure to explore all the zones and keep an eye out for hidden treasures and bonuses. 

A Christmas to remember

With restrictions easing up and COVID-19 vaccination rates at an encouraging high, this year’s holiday season surely is shaping up to be one to look forward to. If you’re jonesing for some real-life Christmas fun, though, you won’t be disappointed when you take a break from the metaverse and make your way to your favorite SM Supermalls instead! From the light shows and holiday centerpieces to all sorts of Christmas attractions, all things merry and bright await you and the whole family—and it all starts now! Check out all the holiday happenings here and have a #HappyChristmasAtSM!

The #SMChristmasVillage2022 will run from October 28, 2022 to January 5, 2023. Voucher redemption will be until January 31, 2023.

To stay updated on all things SM, follow SM Supermalls on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. SM implements strict #SafeMallingAtSM protocols nationwide and offers convenient shopping options via the SM Malls Online app, The SM Store, and ShopSM. (You can read more here.) For updates on mall hours and entry guidelines, click here

Hop into our mall-tiverse and score ₱3M worth of vouchers and prizes!
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