New JGFP chair Manotoc launches grassroots program in Zamboanga | Inquirer Sports

New JGFP chair Manotoc launches grassroots program in Zamboanga

By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 08:53 PM October 26, 2022

Tommy Manotoc (seated, center) and officials of the Edwin Andrews Air Base golf course in Zamboanga pose after the agreement launching a grassroots program among children of the military. Also in photo are (second from left, standing) Jessie Balasabas and Japan Tour regular Juvic Pagunsan. –

Tommy Manotoc (seated, center) and officials of the Edwin Andrews Air Base golf course in Zamboanga pose after the agreement launching a grassroots program among children of the military. Also in the photo are (second from left, standing) Jessie Balasabas and Japan Tour regular Juvic Pagunsan. –CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines–No stranger to developing national team talent from the ground up, Tommy Manotoc launched a grassroots program in Zamboanga last week which he hopes would give the country golfers it could use internationally in the future.

Recently voted as the new chairman emeritus of the Junior Golf Foundation of the Philippines (JGFP), Manotoc started a program for children of military men and women in Zamboanga, which will have as its home the Edwin Andrews Air Base golf course.

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“I have always believed that you can spot great talent in the young players,” Manotoc told the Inquirer. “I have high hopes that we can discover Philippine team members in programs like this one.”

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Present in sealing the agreement were ambassador Mike Muin, judges Peter Wisma and Eric Elumba, lawyers Pherham Saiddi and Florencio Liong Jr, Andrews golf assistant general manager Al-Salem Valdez, Maj. Robert Gacayan and Major Aminkadra Abdula.

Zamboanga is the first of many programs the JGFP will launch as Manotoc has personally sought the help of friends for golf clubs and everything needed to make the kids excel.

A former president of the National Golf Association of the Philippines (NGAP), one of Manotoc’s biggest contributions to national team cause was the defunct National Caddies Open program he hatched together with friends in 2003.

Running for two years with the help of businessman-sportsman Hermie Esguerra, ex-caddy Tony Arevalo and former Comelec chair Benjamin Abalos, the program groomed ex-caddies from all over the country all the way to PH Team inclusions.

Jonel Ababa and Jessie Balasabas won the only two tournaments that the NCO played, and both went on to play in the Southeast Asian Games and a number of regional meets. Ababa has won several times on the Philippine Golf Tour, while Balasabas won the Philippine Masters at Villamor the last time it was held a few years back.

“While that (NCO) program changed the lives of those caddies forever, they were also able to represent the country well internationally,” Manotoc said. “That’s the target. And I believe that it is achievable.”

Present in sealing the agreement were ambassador Mike Muin, judges Peter Wisma and Eric Elumba, lawyers Pherham Saiddi and Florencio Liong Jr, Andrews golf assistant general manager Al-Salem Valdez, Maj. Robert Gacayan and Major Aminkadra Abdula.

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