Senate President and Philippine Bowling Federation chairman Vicente “Tito” Sotto III and Bowling legends Rafael “Paeng” Nepomuceno and Bong Coo graced the 30th Southeast Asian Games Tenpin Bowling event at the refurbished Coronado Lanes in Starmall EDSA on Tuesday.
And Sotto, a former Filipino kegler who once donned the tricolors of the country in the biennial meet back in the 1970s, couldn’t help but wax nostalgic. He then noticed the distinction of bowling from the past to the present.
“Napansin ko in the last few years, unlike noong mga panahon namin nila Paeng, nila Bong, mura bowling noon ej. Lately mahal, kaya limitado ang mga nakakapaglaro,” Sotto pointed out.
“Alam mo ba kung anong bayad namin sa bowling namin per game? Two pesos. Two pesos per game. Eh ngayon? Magkano ba? 300 ba? 200? 400 per game? Kaya babad kami sa bowling nila Paeng, nababad kami doon eh.”
And so in order to promote the sport of bowling in the Philippines, Sotto shared that he and rest of the PBF board seek to construct a facility in the New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac for the sake of Filipino keglers and aspirants alike.
“I’ve already discussed this with the leadership of the Bowling Federation, also with Bong, Paeng, si [Stephen] Hontiveros. We’re getting a one-hectare property in the New Clark City and we will be building a bowling complex — a Tenpin Bowling complex that will be of international standards and world class,” declared Sotto.
He then continued, “So that there will be more participants, and there will be more practice by the players ,at hindi katulad ng nangyayari na mahal. Naging mahal na mahal ang bowling.”
Sotto, though, bared that there is still no determinate timetable for when the bowling complex will be finished, since the discussion of the matter among officials is set in February.
“Tapusin lang natin ‘to, tapusin lang natin ‘tong SEA Games. We’ll be sitting down with the people concerned by about February next year. Pati design pag-uusapan namin,” he said.
Still, Sotto is hopeful that the construction will be done “within a year”.
“Hindi lang aabot dito sa SEA Games, pero hopefully within a year kayang ma-build ‘yung bagong center for the Philippine Sports Commission at hindi, ika nga, magkakaroon ng problem,” he said.
“Magkakaroon tayo ng grassroots developments sa bowling. Marami tayong magaling na player, hindi lang nakakapaglaro ng mabuti.”