Ex-ML booters to give aid to typhoon victims
Amidst the joyous celebration of the M. Lhuillier Jewelers football squad’s 25th year anniversary since giving Cebu City its first and only championship title in the Philippine Football Federation’s National Championships in 1988, members of the team present during the affair didn’t forget their fellow Filipinos who suffered the wrath of supertyphoon “Yolanda.”
During the Jewelers’ reunion Monday at Michel’s Deli and Café in Paseo Satumino, Ma. Luisa Road, Banilad, the members who were present alongside team owner couple Michel and Amparito Lhuillier, have agreed to donate cash from their own pockets to the victims of the recent supertyphoon that devastated large parts of the Visayas region, most especially Tacloban City.
The former team captain of the Jewelers, Mario Ceniza, came up with the idea of asking all his teammates present to dig into their pockets and pitch in to add to the much-needed donations for the storm victims.
Members of the team, inducted into the Cebu City Sports Hall of Fame in Feb. 16, 2011, gave in to Ceniza’s request and came up with the sum of P11,550, which was then doubled to P23,100 after team owner Lhuillier matched what cash the players came up with.
Lhuillier, known in Cebu City as a premier supporter of sporting events and team owner of various squads in different sporting disciplines, cautioned Ceniza regarding the distribution of the donation to the victims.
Lhuillier recalled his bad experience in his recent trip to Tacloban City aboard his private helicopter.
He said that when they tried to land in Tacloban City to survey the damage done by the typhoon and dole out some goods, the people mobbed the chopper they were riding in and they were forced to lift back up immediately after the throng of people started to surge forward.
“We had to literally remove people’s hands from the chopper’s base as they tried to cling to it even as we started lifting into the air,” said Lhuillier. “So Mario, I’m asking you, to whom will you give the money? Because if you’re planning to go yourself to Tacloban City, then good luck because I don’t know what will happen there.”
In the end, the group agreed to turn over the collected money to the different media organizations currently deploying relief goods to the victims of the storm.
The anniversary celebration, which was also attended by Cebu Football Association (CFA) president Engr. Pericles “Ricky” Dakay, Australian playing coach Graeme Mackinnon and several football personalities, also gave a video tribute to one of their teammate who had passed away in 2009, Roberto Eco.
The complete roster of the team’s members include the 1988 PFF National Championship MVP Gemini Sitoy, the Jewelers’ goal-keeper, James Janea, Felix Navarro, Mike Ahmad, Dante Orejudos, Mario Ceniza, Rene Maambong, Randy Estremos, Eddie Catarinen, Genard Aller, Wlifredo Juezan, Rene Inoc, James Paradillo, Alan Arcabal, Edwin Arganza, Albert Regencia and Peter Bordador.
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