MANILA, DECEMBER 13, 2010 (STAR) President Noynoy Aquino could not make it but he was represented by his special nephew, Kris Aquino’s son Joshua, in the Great Pinoy Peace and Unity Swim early Saturday morning at the Diliman Preparatory School Swimming Center on Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City.

To everybody’s surprise – and consternation – Kris’ special child, accompanied by three security personnel and two nannies, came into the pool in the wee hours of the morning – between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. – and asked if he could also swim.

“Probably he saw on television the thousands of swimmers lining up for the chance to swim to help break the Guinness record for a 24-hour non-stop marathon relay in an 18.3-meter (60-foot) swimming pool,”said organizer Susan Papa.

Joshua was one of hundreds of Filipinos who came in without prior registration.

Traffic ground to a halt on Commonwealth Avenue Friday night as motorists parked their cars to join swimmers already lined up for their turn in the pool.

On the wee hours, traffic was still heavy as hordes poured into the compact swimming center.

“You could see Filipinos helping one another, and kids on the streets with banners shouting “Para sa bayan, para sa bayan.”

“People would go down from their car and swim. Even passengers from public vehicles willingly participated just to be part of the event,” said Papa.

A participant, when asked why he wanted to swim even if he might not be able to complete the distance, said “ I’ll try, sir, if it’s for my country.”

“I was touched when I saw Joshua and asked me ‘I will swim right’,” recalls Papa.

“’Yes, Josh, for the Philippines,’ I said.”

“I assisted Josh at the starting line and he immediately removed his shirt and dived,” recounted Papa. “He also went to the log book after his swim to sign his name to be part of the world record event.”

He etched his signature in the Guinness logbook of swimmers, many of whom did not participate to break the record but to be a part of the national effort for peace and unity. The event failed to break the mark of 5,028 when the last swimmer, former Sen. Nikki Coseteng swam the last lap as swimmer no. 4732. Like over 4,000 swimmers who did it for a cause, Joshua was, in his own right, the bigger-than-life superstar, who, for a while, outshone his mom Kris and uncle Noynoy.

Manila takes Game 1 in baseball title series (The Philippine Star) Updated December 13, 2010 12:00 AM Comments (0)

[PHOTO -US Ambassador Harry Thomas throws the ceremonial pitch kicking off the best-of-three title showdown between Manila and Batangas in Dunkin’ Donuts Baseball Philippines Series 7. MANNY MARCELO]

Manila showed its championship experience and poise as it blasted ersthwhile undefeated Batangas, 8-2, Saturday to take Game 1 of the Dunkin’ Donuts Baseball Philippines Series 7 finals at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

The Sharks scored four runs in the seventh inning to pull away from the Bulls and move a win away from sweeping the season’s twin titles in the league presented by Dunkin’ Donuts and organized by Community Sports Inc.

Not even the solo home run by Vio Roxas in the third inning could spark the Bulls’ run the way they did before the finals where they swept their elims matches and swept the Alabang Tigers in the semis.

“I really think experience-wise, we have an advantage and in this game, we showed just that,” said Manila coach Jhoel Palanog.

Game 2 is set Dec. 18, also at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

United States Ambassador Harry Thomas and National University’s Arlene Royo, a former UAAP member and tournament organizer of the UAAP baseball and softball tournaments, made the ceremonial pitch to start the best-of-three championship series

Junifer Pinero hit an RBI single to close out the Sharks’ scoring binge in the seventh inning, aided by Batangas’ errors and a wild pitch for an 8-2 lead.

Batangas looked headed for a big rally as Charles Catangui’s sacrifice fly scored Carlo Banzon in the sixth. With Roxas on second, Manila’s Saxon Omandac made a spectacular over-the-shoulder catch with two outs, foiling S.J. San Juan’s bid for an RBI and an extra base.

Earlier, Fulgencio Rances scored the winning run on a wild pitch as the Cebu Dolphins settled for third place honors, edging the Alabang Tigers, 7-6, in the 11th inning.

The league is sponsored by Gatorade, Rawling’s, Industrial Enterprises Inc., Philippine Transmarine Carriers, Harbour Centre and The Heritage Park with the Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Olympic Committee, Philippine Amateur Baseball Association, Philippine Umpires Association and Sports Radio 918 AM as partners.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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