A tribute to a Negrense golf legend

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Saturday, March 1, 2014

MENTION golf and Tiger Woods would come to mind, especially to the younger generation.

In Negros Occidental, we also have Juvic Pagunsan, a professional golfer from Murcia who currently plays in the Asian tour. In 2011, Pagunsan won the Asian Tour Order of Merit.

But long before Pagunsan, Negros Occidental had a legendary golf figure by the name of Luis Fernando ‘Golem’ Cuenca Silverio.


Silverio was the first Asian to play at The Masters and the first amateur to win the Philippine Open in 1966.

His father, Jose Silverio, is fond of calling him ‘Golem’. ‘Golem’ is a Polish word which means a big and robust person, and the meaning behind that name was lived by his son.

Golem started playing golf at the age of 8. He was 10 years old when he first joined a tournament. He played in various golf courses in college.

Being the smallest in the tournaments he usually joined, Golem proved that size doesn’t matter. His talent and skills made him bigger than his opponents.

After college, he worked in the US, and played golf in different countries like Spain, Mexico and Scotland.

He represented the Philippines and won seven individual championship trophies.

Silverio, billed as the country’s finest golf player, died at the age of 70 in 2008. He was considered a legendary golf figure.

To preserve Silverio’s golf memorabilia, his family donated them to the Dizon-Ramos Museum at Burgos St. in Bacolod.

The Cuenca-Silverio family also donated some of the trophies at the Marapara (Negros Occidental Golf and Country Club) in Brgy. Bata Bacolod, for it was Golem who helped designed the Marapara, which has been hosting PAL Interclub tournaments.

The Golem exhibit was launched on Wednesday night, Feb. 26. The main goal of the exhibit is for more Negrenses to appreciate golf, and to take pride in the achievements of Golem.

Upon entering the museum, visitors are welcomed by more than 300 trophies earned by Golem, as well as videos of his play.

All the equipment he used during his plays such as uniforms, shoes, gloves are also displayed at the museum.

His brother, Jaime Cuenca Silverio, said Golem believes that “If you are only a runner-up, you did not win.” Golem played only in amateur competitions, refusing to be a professional, for he only played for passion and not for money.

Raymund Alunan Bayot, the curator of the Dizon-Ramos Museum, says they are planning to bring the Golem exhibit around Negros and later around the country. The exhibit will run until April 30. (Ana Patricia C. Talam)

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on March 01, 2014.


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