Mendoza: Nobody’s safe anymore from scumbags

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By Al S. Mendoza

All Write

Friday, July 25, 2014

IT ballyhooed one-whole page advertisements in the major national dailies for quite a number of days. In a newspaper where I worked 20 years, the last seven years as its sports editor, the ad ran successively for days. And a whole page these days could cost you close to three hundred thousand bucks a day. More if you got back page. Full color. “The Last Home Stand” ad was back-page stuff almost daily the past three weeks to trumpet the game between Gilas Pilipinas and the NBA All Stars; a game that never was.

And not only at the Philippine Daily Inquirer did the colorful ad come out consistently but also in the other two major dailies—Philippine Star and Manila Bulletin—easily costing organizers millions of pesos.

OK, you want more history? Again?


Before I moved to the Inquirer in 1986 upon the invite of its founder, Eggie Apostol, I was with the Bulletin, where I started as a sportswriter in 1974. When the breakaway group of Max Soliven, Louie Beltran and Art Borjal (may their souls rest in peace) left the Inquirer to put up the Star in 1989, Art Borjal offered me the post of sports editor of the Star. I declined. Politely. I told Art, who was president of the National Press Club of the Philippines when I was his vice president in 1988, I couldn’t just simply leave the Inquirer without sufficient reason.

I gave my word to Tita Eggie, whom I will always consider the best publisher of all time: “I will not leave the Inquirer for as long as Tita Eggie is there.” She left in 1994, or 12 years ahead of me.

Enough of history.

As I was saying, disaster struck Philippine basketball when valid boos rented the air as Spain-bound Gilas and the NBA Stars led by James Harden and Kawhi Leonard did practice drills in place of a supposed exhibition match between both sides that didn’t materialize on Tuesday, July 22, to the horror of Filipino big shots hosting the event, led by tycoon MVP (Manny V. Pangilinan). Turns out MVP’s conduit in the US failed to secure a permit from NBA officials to allow the NBA stars to play against Gilas at the Cubao Big Dome.

Much to his credit, MVP apologized most sincerely and next offered to refund payment of the tickets.

Now take note: Even billionaires can be fooled, too, you know.


Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 26, 2014.


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