Issue of April 20, 2014
Mt. Province

Courier Anniversary Issue
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Brico Santig does it again; Sandy C up against a wall

Before Manny Pacquiao walloped Timothy Bradley to cement his place in the galaxy of boxing immortals, the province of Benguet got a piece of the limelight when La Trinidad’s Brico Santig was awarded for the third time running the promoter of the year award by the WBC Asian Boxing Council in Thailand on April 9.

The Highland Boxing gym which he managed is described as one of the most spirited, disciplined, and lively gyms in the Philippines. The gym is also described as prolific in promoting boxing events despite shoestring budgets.

The successful “Strawberry Punch” boxing promotion was a case in point. The incoming blockbuster May 4 fight between Japan’s Takaya Kakutani against Jeffrey Arienza of the Elorde Gym is another.

Santig is no millionaire. Neither does he have political or corporate backing.

He knows Bob Arum alright but does not have a boxer of Pacquiao’s stature to merit booking in Las Vegas. Nonetheless, he has established goodwill and quite a solid reputation that boxing promoters in Thailand and Japan readily reach out to him for joint ventures.

The result is that he has in his gym at least 20 battle-tested fighters who can be fielded either to Japan, Bangkok or South Africa even at a short notice. His trip to Monaco early this year won for his boxer Rey Loreto, the IBO Jr. flyweight world title. This is in addition to several regional and national champions under his watch.

Jay Sobrepeña of Camp John Hay and Santig share the dream of producing an Igorot world titlist in the near future. In fact to this day, Sobrepeña is looking for the Igorot boxer who has both skill and the mental toughness to merit training and attention by Freddie Roach himself.

In another region, province or town, Santig’s modest accomplishments would have merited recognition by local authorities. That there is none coming is neither here nor there. They have probably more pressing concerns to attend to and boxing lies at the bottom of the hierarchy of priorities to put it one way. Congratulations!

* * * * * * * * * *

Meantime, Ibaloi instructor Sandy Calado remains enthusiastic in his Sunday mission of teaching the Nabaloi language.

The challenge facing him now is how to sustain the interest of his students so that they could come on a regular basis.

He observed that while most of his Sunday students come from Ibaloi families, it appeared that Ibaloi is not spoken in their homes. His guess is that English or Tagalog or even Iloco has supplanted the mother tongue, the reason why they have difficulty in pronouncing Ibaloi terms.

But Sandy C. is enjoying the challenge and is looking forward to striking a conversation with his students in the not-so-distant future in Nabaloi.

Pu’xel (pu’hel), the Ibaloi term for bone, is a tongue-twister as you must pronounce the word with a silent X.

The result is that attempts at constructing Ibaloi sentences remain largely unsuccessful but not totally hopeless. Arah, enosem jen pasya, agi, angkol tan abalayan, “for in the long of time, we shall success.”

Apropos to this, Barangay Wangal PB Valentin Wallang said the following sentence “Umay kayo agbitin tayo, last trip daytoy” is translated more accurately in Ibaloi as “Kalajo, manba’jat kito, ab-abos niyay jen dugan.”

Now let us use akdo (dipper) in a sentence.

“Inusal nonta mangibot e akdo’n danshok ja nan-taol ni balitok.(Ibaloi)

“Inusar din mangakew nan landok ay bakkung ay nankaod na sin balitok. (Kankanaey)

“Inusar san mangakew san iron dipper ay nan-scoop esnan balitok. (Sagada). Next lesson, please.

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