What do golfers love to do besides play golf? Well, ask those who attended the 62nd PAL INTERCLUB TOURNAMENT in Davao City, Mindanao, Philippines and you might need 10 pages to make up a list.
First of all the PAL INTERCLUB is Philippine’s National Team Golf Championship featuring the nation’s top amateur golfers from many local clubs. Several years ago, international teams were invited to participate. During the last week of February, 2009, more than 5000 golfers, companions, escorts, (ahem!) and alternate players crowded the city of Davao, known for its durian, pomelo, and other fruits. Rancho Palos Verdes and Apo Golf and Country Club were kept busy and on their toes from dusk to dawn to accommodate this fabulous tournament.
The city of Vancouver is well represented at the INTERCLUB Tournament. EZPAR GOLF YVR is one of them. It is no secret that avid golfers in the city wanting to get the most out of the season belong to more than one club. Miles Nerona, Rey Fortaleza, and Ed Morcilla are among the many who play with several clubs in BC. Chang Lim and Hee Jeaw Chang, regulars with the Thursday Birdie Hunters group bolstered EZPAR’s entries in the Seniors Division this year. (Note: there is no such team as EZPAR BREAKERS. For some reason the tournament schedule confused the EZPAR golfers and the PAR Breakers when the 2nd day tournament schedule was faxed to the hotels listing the EZPAR Breakers. Hence, thereinafter, EZPAR GOLF VANCOUVER was christened EZPAR GOLF YVR.)
Being their first visit to the nation, our two friends who were originally from Indonesia were quick to note similarities and differences between the two countries (Philippines and Indonesia). This brings us to the answers to the original question: what golfers love to do!
They love to wander around and experience the country and its cultural idiosyncrasies, amenities, and social life. “The workers are so dedicated to their jobs; they really like to please customers!” exclaimed Hee Jeaw who appreciated his many encounters with local merchants. Indeed Filipino hospitality and dedication to duty were aglow everywhere we went.
At Royal Mandaya Hotel where the team stayed, Joy Nidea-Vargas and Ella and their staff made sure the team received top notch services. Flor and Giselle were gracious and attentive at the restaurant. There was nightly entertainment at the Lounge with singers and pianist hardly ever resting throughout the evening (unlike with labor/unionized entertainers in Vancouver who make sure they took their 15 minute break every 15 minutes!).
At the Interclub, Bheng, Tina, and Janice were ohhhh-soooo-busyyyy throughout the 2-week affair to the delight of Atty. Domeng Duerme and Buddy Ressureccion whose work and dedication to the Interclub have been major contributions to its success.
Breakfast at Royal Mandaya was just delightful. The buffet selection is revamped daily. Both Chang’s enjoyed the “danggit” – the crispy fish delight, boneless bangus, the daily serving of veggies, and of course the tropical fruits’ table. Nanay Bebeng served up a long buffet table with great selection of native dishes and dessert that hardly breaks the budget. We missed Jack’s Ridge this time around but everyone who comes to visit Davao city has this on their itinerary.
Well, international teams are probably light years away from competing with the likes of Canlubang, Luisita, Wack-Wack, or even the newcomer TCC (The Country Club). The Sugar Barons’ total scoring point of 551 for the Men’s Championship 72 holes translates to “impossibility” for any international team anywhere to replicate.
Those of us from La-La lands come to have fun. Minimizing “pick-ups” more than scoring points is our objective. In the Senior Division, it means preventing a triple bogie on any hole. Rey David, Oscar Trinidad, and Paul Galon, know too well what that feels like.
The clean up team of Lim, Chang, Taguiam, & Mendoza for EZPAR scored the most points for the club. Disqualification of Trinidad for improper scoring pulled down the club from 7th position on the 1st day to….oh, who cares!
Well….”eat your heart out” – those of you who did not make it this time. No need to elaborate here except perhaps to use the word….”pampered heavenly”. There is only one advice to those of you who wish to de-stress, forget the blues, and get re-invigorated: BOOK EARLY for Cagayan de Oro for the last two week in February, 2010!
Just ask Jimmy Mallari of Las Vegas or Miles Nerona of Vancouver….they will tell you why!
GO AHEAD AND COMMENT BELOW!