I remember during the height of my husband’s courtship back in the 90’s, he would bring me to this billiard joint in Malate in the hope that I would be impressed with his billiards prowess. Well, I was I guess because he was at his element when he was in front of the billiard table. Aside from basketball, this was the other sport that he truly loved. The mere sight of a billiard table excited him to no end. Happiness for him and his friends back then was a couple of rounds of billiards game where losers get to buy 1.5 liter of Coca-Cola for everyone. It was not the money he said that would get you hooked in the game but the intensity of play that the game requires and the camaraderie it presents. He seldom watch TV when he was alive, the few occasions that I found him glued to the boob tube were when there’s a mean billiard competition on the sports channel or Ginebra’s playing. I imagine that he is having the time of his life in heaven now playing billiards with the angels.
Back in those days, I remember seeing quite a number of college students and dropouts hanging out at the same billiard joint we were frequenting. My husband, then my suitor, would tell me when I look at them disapprovingly that it is better that they get addicted to the game than to illegal drugs. I had to agree with him on that.
With the influx of technology, particularly the introduction of hi tech game consoles where everything can be played with just a flick of a finger, the game of billiards took a backseat. Only a few are into the game now. It makes me sad because I have to admit, I do have a strong admiration for the game because it is more than just getting the balls to shoot in the holes. It is all about concentration, focus, timing, strategy, and aim. Life skills that teenagers need to acquire in order to be successful in life. I wish the government would do more to revive the game of billiards, given the chance…and the fund…and the support…a lot of Filipino amateur billiard players would fair well in international competition because they have the talent and heart for it. If this happens, we’ll have more youths trading dota, wii and xbox for the billiards cues.
It was a pleasant surprise then to learn that The Villar Foundation of Mrs. Cynthia Villar, through their annual Villards Cup, continues to support the game by providing budding billiards players a venue where they can compete and play alongside Philippine billiard legends such as Efren ‘Bata’ Reyes, Francisco ‘Django’ Bustamante, Ronnie ‘The Volcano’ Alcano and Dennis ‘Robocop’ Orcollo. The Villiards Cup has been around since 2008 as part of The Villar Foundation’s advocacy of developing sports at the grassroot level throughout the country. As we all know, billiards is larong pang-masa.
The Villar Foundation has been staging the Villards’ Cup in key cities. Last September 23-24, the Villards Cup 2012 was held at San Jose, Del Monte, Bulacan. On its first day, Philippine Billiards legends “Bata” Reyes, “Django” Bustamante, and “Robocop” Ocollo played an exhibition game to the delight of the amateur billiard players and enthusiasts present. On the second day, they played alongside this year’s Villard Cup winners Edgie Geronimo of Marilao (champion) and Eduardo Lim of Meycauayan (2nd placer).
The complete list of winners of the Villards Cup 2012 are as follows:
1st: Edgie Geronimo (Marilao)
2nd: Eduardo Lim (Meycauayan)
3rd / 4th: Resty Labastida (Bocaue) / Roberto Bilicario (Sta. Maria)
5th / 6th: Kennet Matheu Garcia (Marilao) / Marlon Glinogo (Bulacan)
7th / 8th: Jonas Paolo Ramos (Baliwag) / William Trinidad (Angat)
With this, I hope to see more enthusiasm towards the game. We need to break the balls so everyone will take their cue and get into the game of billiards again.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/romancingthestone/