MANILA, December 19, 2003  (STAR) Presidentiable Fernando Poe Jr., a known fanatic of combat sport especially boxing, has been invited to grace the first Mano-Mano Challenge which is set to unfold on Dec. 27 at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.

Poe, acclaimed as the king of Philippine movies, is popular for his rapid punches that became his trademark action moves. His love for boxing inspired him to do a movie entitled "Totoy Bato", a story about a retired boxing champion who was forced to fight underground.

"Mr. Poe was invited because his stature could help popularized mixed martial arts as a legitimate sport in the country," said Ed Dames, managing director of the organizing CEMG. "Any politician or celebrity that can help the sport is welcome to the affair."

Inviting Poe to the Mano-Mano Challenge is the Kapisanan ng mga Broadcasters sa Pilipinas which is one of the supporters of the event.

Expected to join Poe are celebrities who are known martial arts enthusiasts like Robin Padilla, Bong Revilla, Richard Gomez, Jackie Lou Blanco, Rep. Miguel Zubiri and others.

Mano-Mano is a competition among the best martial artists in the country who will pit skills in the art of striking. The fighters are allowed to use their fists, feet, knees and elbows in hitting their opponents. Grappling however is not permitted.

Among the martial arts schools seeing action came from the disciplines of karate, kung fu, taekwondo, muay thai, pencak silat, wushu, sikaran, suntokaran, malayan kanfu.

For ticket reservations, please call Ticketworld at 891-56-90 or visit their 2outlets at all Ayala Malls and National Bookstore branches.

GOLF: Future stars play in Young Guns The Philippine Star 12/19/2003

The future stars of Philippine golf assemble at the world-class Manila Southwoods today to vie for honors in the second Young Guns at the Legends, a tournament specially-designed for kids 12 years and below. Tee-off time is 7:30 a.m.

Most of the year’s standouts in the jungolf ranks are in the roster of 80 players who will dispute the top awards in six age-classifications.

To be contested are the top three places in the following divisions: boys 7 years and under, 8 years, 9 years, 10 years, 11 years and 12 years and girls 8-under, 9 years, 10 years, 11 years and 12 years. Those in the 8 years and below age-group will play just nine holes while the rest will play for 18 holes.

The Young Guns format is patterned after the US Kids world championship in Virginia where six-year-old AR Ramos emerged victorious last August.

Aside from Ramos, Filipino kids who have brought home international victories are also seeing action. They are Desert Classic champions Wolen Juan Superal and Miguel Tabuena, Sarawak Chief Ministers Cup winner Ma-an Legaspi and Andie Unson, the best local finisher of the RP contingent in last July’s Junior World in San Diego.

Trophies and prizes are provided by tournament sponsors Smart, Bellevue, Price Smart, Duty Free Phils., Marvin Sports Plaza, Nestle, Gatorade, International Container Terminal Services Inc., SharExchange and Golf Depot. Smart phones and golf equipment will also be raffled off.

Luigi Tabuena, the tournament director, said that the tourney aims to expose local jungolfers to the kind of format they play abroad especially in the United States aside from encouraging more young kids to keep improving their games.

Aside from the Young Guns at Southwoods, other events jungolfers are set to play during the holiday break are the Nike Jungolf Christmas Tournament at Riviera and the Nike Visayas tourney at the Cebu Country Club which will be held on the same day, Monday Dec. 22, the Alabang Invitational on Dec. 23 and the Japan-Philippines Friendship Meet early next year at the Tagaytay Midlands course.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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