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Fijian Shaman Singh edges elite trio to win 18th Kalayaan Cup held at MacQuarie Link

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAShaman Singh who hails from Fiji and now lives in Toongabbie narrowly won the 18th PAL Kalayaan Cup golf tournament held at Macquarie Links International Golf Club last  June 10, to commemorate the 115th anniversary of the proclamation of Philippine Independence.

For the first time in the history of Kalayaan cup, a three-way tie score of 38 points among  Pawat Ittiaree (Thai), Bernie Balagtas (Filipino) and Shaman Singh (Fijian) had to be settled by count back. “It was really a very tight competition although I was expecting my flight mate, Pawat who played very well to win over me” said a surprise Shaman who was awarded the PAL return airfare to Manila, a monumental trophy and the right to engrave his name in the perpetual trophy, for being the 2013 champion.


Shaman Singh is a licensed real estate agent, works with Raine & Horne Parramatta and a member of Cumberland Golf & Country Club. He also plays with Fairway Social golf club but used his AGU handicap of 20 to win this year’s Kalayaan cup.


Division winners together with their scores were: Bernie Balagtas (Div A) 38 points CB; Pawat Ittiaree (Div B) 38 points CB; Philip Punla (Div C) 37 points and Jun Gonzales (Div D) 37 points CB. These winners received $150 each in cash, a trophy and sleeve of golf balls for their fantastic efforts.


Division runners up together with their scores were: Fidel Concepcion (Div A) 36 points, Htet Tun (Div B) 34 points, Rene Uy (Div C) 33 points and Arnold Villamayor (Div D) 37 points. These runners up golfers were awarded $100 each in cash, a trophy and sleeve of golf balls.


The best lady golfer was Kate Andres who scored 36 points using her social handicap of 36. She received a trophy and sleeve of golf balls. “Perhaps next time there will be cash prize for lady champion too” she commented with great expectation.


Nearest the pins on four par 3-hole winners were Bobby Leones (Hole 5), Kate Andres (Hole 8), Philip Punla (Hole 11) and Laura Marquinez (Hole 15). They each received $30 each.


The best putter was taken by Philip Punla from Fairgolf Social golf club. He was followed by Sutti Suttontanyakorn as second best butter from Thai Golf Club association. They received cash prize of $100 and $50 each, respectively.


The major raffle prize of return airfare to Manila courtesy of Philippine Airlines was won by Dr Cora Francisco of Quakers Hill. The minor prizes of two night’s hotel accommodation, LBC vouchers, meals for two at Fiesta Blacktown & P-Noy Lounge were immediately handed over to the winners.


Philippine Airlines is the principal sponsor with naming rights. Other major sponsors are LBC Hari ng Padala, AICL/AIH Education, R.O. Biala Pty Ltd., I-Remit, Travelaccess and Revesby Press. Supporters are Philippine Embassy (Canberra), Philippine Consulate General – Sydney, Philippine Community Council of NSW and Macquarie Links Int’l Golf Club. These were duly acknowledged and thanked by Fil-Oz President, Ric de Vera.



De Vera said,“Judging from the turn-out of 104 golfers, their enthusiasm despite the late shower, the sumptuous Filipino food served during the awards dinner and the excellent entertainment, the event was a huge success.We have to capitalize on this year’s goodwill and expect to have a bigger turnout next year.”


During the program,  Consul General Hon. Anne Jalando-on Louis thanked the golfers for their participation  despite the late shower. She said participants seemed to have enjoyed their games. She clarified the meaning of “Kalayaan” which is freedom for the Filipino people after the declaration of Philippine Independence in 1898. She congratulated Fil-oz for another year of successful coordination of the PAL Kalayaan cup, being part of the annual celebration of Philippine Independence.


The PAL Kalayaan cup golf tournament is the only function commemorating the proclamation of Philippine Independence in Australia . It included a  buffet dinner served with mainly Filipino dishes such as pork adobo, beef caldereta, Filipino style chicken curry and steamed okra, among others. The Filipinos as well as non-Filipinos relished the  sumptuous food that were seldom made available in community events.


As an ongoing annual Fil-oz charity project, Kalayaan Cup generates fund for  the Missionaries of Charity in Tondo, Manila. This congregation is composed of sisters who are descendants of  the Mother Teresa ministry of Calcutta and are responsible for taking care of the sick, handicapped and abandoned street children, numbering almost 100 at any one time.