First is last, last is first

  • Page Views 1556
  • FROM boxer to publisher.

    In the Seventies, Rey Fortaleza won medals from bronze to gold as a bantamweight (119 lbs) and a featherweight (122) in the Youth, SEA and Asian Games.

    Who said boxers would simply retire and then slip into a quiet nothingness afterwards?

    Not Rey Fortaleza.

    In 1990, more than a decade after he left boxing, Rey migrated to Vancouver, Canada. In no time, he would put up his Reyfort Media Group there. Today, his outfit publishes the Philippine Times Today, the Philippine Showbiz Today and Living Today magazine.

    Only a while back, Gregor Robertson, the mayor of Vancouver, honored Rey with a banquet dinner in a plush hotel in Vancouver.

    “Before Manny Pacquiao, there was a great Filipino boxer and who was an Olympian at that,” Robertson said from the podium. “He is now right here with us – Mr. Rey Fortaleza!”

    Standing ovation.

    Rey, coached by the legendary Flash Elorde, also fought in the 1976 Montreal Olympics, where he lost in the quarters to the division’s top seed, a North Korean who would eventually win the gold.

    I saw Rey in 1992 in Vancouver during my coverage of the World Team Golf Championship. With beer as our brew, Rey and I would bar-hop till we dropped.

    Our succeeding encounter would next happen at the PAL Interclub Golf. This tournament would eventually become the reason for our yearly reunion as Rey would regularly play in the PAL Interclub, starting in the late Nineties. Just last week, we were in Bacolod for the event.

    On Tuesday (March 2), Vic Agustin, this paper’s distinguished chairman of the editorial board, called me up to say I should begin my “All The Way” column here “right away.”

    When Vic’s call came, I was playing golf with Rey and Jake P. Ayson, the executive director of the National Golf Association of the Philippines, and Jimmy Panganiban, the diminutive and well-respected businessman from Basilan.

    I must confess that Riera Mallari, the exceedingly unassuming and your kindly sports editor, had a huge role in my entry here and for which I will be eternally grateful for the trust.

    “This is history,” said Jimmy, a distinguished member of the Manila Golf Club, in reference to my new job as a Manila Standard-TODAY sports columnist, as we were stepping out of MGC’s second green. “I’m glad to be among the first to learn about your new column. That calls for a celebration.”

    After our round, Jimmy surprised us with a rare bottle of Beringer (Pinot Noir), circa 2006.

    “Special occasions call for a special drink,” Jimmy said.

    At the wind-kissed MGC verandah, with Taguig’s lighted skyscrapers serving as solemn background in the breezy evening, Mr. Beringer transformed the foursome from somber to soused-up (a bit only, of course).

    “When I’m back in Vancouver, I’ll check your columns in the internet, pare,” Rey said, raising his stemmed glass. “Valentin Dakuykoy has been my idol for a long, long time now.”

    “Let’s drink to that,” said Jake.

    * * *
    (The above also serves as my last column here. Thank you boss a.k.a. Mr. Judge for your precious time all these years, and to all the kindred souls of MST who made it all happen “all the way.” Farewell and till then.)

    Share

    New Posts Recently publish post More

    • 11 October 2019
      2 days ago No comment

      RICHARD, SARAH TO TAKE VIEWERS ON THEIR WEDDING JOURNEY

      Details on their wedding to be revealed on various ABS-CBN shows… Fans are invited to Richard Gutierrez and Sarah Lahbati’s journey to forever as the showbiz couple will soon appear in various ABS-CBN shows and other Kapamilya multimedia platforms to reveal details about their much-anticipated wedding in March 2020. ...

    • 11 October 2019
      2 days ago No comment

      MAJA SALVADOR WINS BEST ACTRESS AWARD IN 1st ASIA CONTENTS AWARDS

      Only winner from the Philippines! Maja Salavador bagged the first ever Best Actress award for drama in the 1st Asia Contents Awards held in in Busan, South Korea, for her portrayal of the lead character in the hit Philippine TV series, “Wildflower.” Salvador, who is also the lone winner ...

    • 11 October 2019
      2 days ago No comment

      Movie Review:The Men’s Room

      Boys Night out! Please don’t confuse the title The Men’s Room with your local WC. Even though there is a bit of washroom/locker room style dialogue in This drama that would be completely missing the point. Watch and learn as a group of some 25 or so Norwegian men ...

    • 11 October 2019
      2 days ago No comment

      Movie Review: The Rabbi Goes West

      Wagons Ho! Religion can be a source of good or evil. Out to make amends and spread the good word of God is a free-spirited messenger on a perilous mission in The Rabbi Goes West. Straight from New York to of all places remote Montana our bearded one takes ...

    • 11 October 2019
      2 days ago No comment

      JUDY ANN’S MUCH-AWAITED TV COMEBACK TEACHES LOVE FOR FAMILY AND FORGIVENESS, FULFILLS WISHES IN “STARLA”

      A timely offering this Christmas season… The much-awaited television comeback of Judy Ann Santos brings another heart-tugging story about hope, love for family, forgiveness, and granting the heart’s deepest wishes in the primetime teleserye “Starla,” which premieres on October 7. The series follows a father-daughter relationship and a mission ...

    %d bloggers like this: