Save 20% off! Join our newsletter and get 20% off right away!
Ric de Vera, Kalayaan golf champ Fr Serving, and ConGen Anne Jalando-on Louis

Filipino priest Fr Serving won Sydney’s 2014 Kalayaan Golf Cup


Ric de Vera, Kalayaan golf champ Fr Serving, and ConGen Anne Jalando-on Louis
Ric de Vera, Kalayaan golf champ Fr Serving, and ConGen Anne Jalando-on Louis

Posted by Ric de Vera

Parish priest of Leichardt in inner  West Sydney Fr Serving Bustamante  won  the PAL Kalayaan cup golf tournament held at the prestigious Macquarie Links International Golf Club n Southwest Sydney last June 9, 2014, in conjunction with the 116th anniversary celebration of the proclamation of Philippine Independence.

Fr Serving’s  fantastic score of 42 points under the stableford scoring system and using his handicap of 20 from Fox Hills Golf Club gave him the edge over the rest of the participants. He was awarded with the championship trophy, an economy class return airfare to  Manila courtesy of Philippine Airlines and the privilege of engrave his name in the perpetual monumental trophy. 

“I’m overwhelmed as I really did not expect to win over so many participants” said an ecstatic Fr Serving. “I enjoyed my game along with other participants because of the perfect weather, which was what we prayed for, anyway”.

For so many years now,  Fr Serving has done his so-called apprenticeship ,  always enthusiastic to do the opening prayers before the tournament. 

Division winners together with their handicaps and scores were: Prescilla Keogh for A using 12 handicap and score of 36 points; Jirapon Thungsumaman for B using 18 handicap and score of 38 points; Jayare Belen for C with handicap of 19 and score of 36 points; and Raul Reyes for D with handicap of 27 and score of 37 points. These winners received $150 cash prize, trophies and golf balls for their exceptional efforts. 

Division runners up together with their handicaps and scores were: Tom Chotichuong for A using 11 handicap and score of 35 points; Danny Martinez for B using 15 handicap and score of 36 points; Tony Salalila for C using handicap of 25 and score of 36 points and Frank Tan for D using handicap of 27 and score of 36 points. For being the runners up in their divisions, these winners were awarded $100 cash prize, trophies and golf balls. 

Ladies division champion was Anika Ortanez, the daughter of Aris Ortanez, Marketing Director of AICL/AIH Education and a golfer himself. Anika scored 34 points and followed closely by Jean Sirisatien with 33 points as the runner up. They both received cash prizes and trophies donated by Dr Anton & Atty Kate Andres. 

Novelty prizes were also given to nearest the pins on four par 3’s amounting to $30 each.

The exciting  putting competition  where many are on a level playing field  summed up a  pot of $300  as prizes to winners. Mr Jirapon Thungsumaman from Thai Golf Club Association was the only golfer who holed the ball and ran away with the whole amount of the pot. ‘I’m lucky I got it’ said an excited Jirapon in the presence of this writer after he holed his ball. 

During the awards presentation and lunch, the Honourable Philippine Consul General in Sydney, Anne Jalando-on Louis emphasized the significance of the term ‘Kalayaan’ which means freedom. She acknowledged the presence of Consul General of Vietnam, Mai Phuoc, congratulated the organisers, expressed appreciation to the sponsors and thanked all the participants wishing them to come back again next year. She was very happy that the weather cooperated with only light shower at 1:00pm compared to the past three years that the tournament was held in the same golf course. 

On his part, this writer as Fil-oz president acknowledged the support of various sponsors, particularly Philippine Airlines with naming rights, LBC ‘We like to move it’, SMDC, AICL/AIH Higher Education and R.O. Biala, CPA’s. He also expressed his appreciation for the support given by different Social golf clubs presidents, namely John Prompanya of Thai Golf Association; Benny Bacalla of Marsden Park Golf Association, Rey Garcia of Golf ParE Social club, Manny Castillo of PASC Sydney Eagle Golf and Sylvia Pham of AVGA. Some groups were likewise represented such as Pogi; Fairgolf; Sydney Jokers and Stonecutters Ridge. He also thanked Macquarie Links Int’l Golf Club for the use of the course and for its chef for cooking the sumptuous buffet Filipino food lunch for us. 

Finally, he congratulated the winners and quoted ‘It is not in winning that counts. We are all winners in this event because we have won new friends and have gained new experiences’. He concluded by wishing everyone safe driving back to their respective abode, and said ‘Until next year when we invite you again to join the 20th series of the PAL Kalayaan cup golf tournament’. 

The master of ceremony, Fidel Zaballa a golfer himself successfully kept everyone laughing with his wits while waiting for the final results of the tournament. 

Philippine Airlines, the Philippines national flag carrier is the principal sponsor with naming rights, donating two economy class return airfare to Manila for the over-all champion and the raffle winner. Major sponsors were LBC, AICL/AIH Education, SMDC and R.O. Biala Pty Ltd. Aside from financial assistance, SMDC provided t-shirts to all participants and AIH Higher Education supplied a box of 30 umbrellas. Toti Umali & Kate Andres donated cash to subsidise the cost of trophies. 

Other sponsors are Revesby Press (printing of flyers & souvenir program), Jirsch Sutherland (golf packs & caps), Maya holidays (accommodation), Fiesta Blacktown & P-Noy Lounge for meals for two vouchers. The event is also supported by Philippine Consulate General – Sydney, Philippine Trade & Investment, Philippine Tourism and Philippine Embassy in Canberra.