Igorot martial artist ups typhoon fund by P100,00

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Friday, December 27, 2013

FRESH from a relief mission to typhoon-ravaged Capiz province, former world shotokan karate champion Julian Chees dropped by the Courier office last Thursday afternoon to deliver P100,000 contribution to the weekly's fund drive for typhoon victims.

"This came from my students and friends in Germany who coursed their support through Shoshin Kinderhilfe, our small foundation established to help the sick and needy here," Julian told the Courier staff.

"We appreciate your opening this drive so people like us can course their contributions to the effort to help the typhoon victims back on their feet," he added.


A week before, Chees, a native of Maligcong, Bontoc, Mt. Province, was in Capiz to distribute rice and cash totaling some P800,000, in coordination with linesmen of the Benguet Electric Cooperative who were dispatched to restore power, and Fr. Niel Olano of the St. Martin's Parish in Dumalag town.

Beneficiaries of the mission were residents of barangays Concepcion and Dolores in Dumalag and church parishioners in Tapaz town through Fr. Romel Talbucon of the St. Andre Mission in Barangay Taft and Fr. Wilson Navarrosa of San Nicolas de Myra Parish.

Back in Baguio, Chees, the first non-German by birth to be drafted to the German national karate team, added P26,000 to the fund raised through "Baguio Reunion 2," a folk and country concert for eight patients last December 23 at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center.

Earlier, he was back home in Bontoc, where he delivered school supplies for kids in Barangay Can-eo and paid the hospital bills and medicines of indigent patients confined at the provincial hospital.

When some of the patients were transferred to Baguio, he followed them up with financial support.

"We're trying to give meaning to the tenet 'Karate ne sente nashi (Karate has no offense)," he said.

Chees, a fifth dan and kata champion in the 1993 World Shotokan Championships in Saarbrucken, Germany, earned his brown belt from sensei Edgar Kapawen Sr. and his blackbelt from master Shihan Sasaki, permanent representative of the Japan Karate Association to the Philippines.

Now head of the Shoshin (Beginner's Mind) Shotokan Karate School in Germany, Chees is an assistant of the venerable eighth-dan, Master Hideo Ochi, chief instructor of the JKA in Europe.

He grew up as a miner's son in Lepanto, Mankayan Benguet where he worked as a bootblack and as a caddy.

"I guess it takes one to know one," he said when asked about his annual homecoming to reach out to the sick and needy. (Ramon Dacawi)

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on December 28, 2013.


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