Ricky Ballesteros was an icon, a pillar of Sinulog Foundation, say friends, colleagues who mourn his passing

By: Niña Mae C. Oliverio - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | July 09,2023 - 03:12 PM

Ricky Ballesteros

Former SFI executive director Ricky Ballesteros | CDN fileBallesteros

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Friends, colleagues, and mentees of the distinguished sports and event organizer, Ricky Ballesteros, have expressed their grief following reports of his death on the evening of July 8, 2023.

He was the former Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI) executive director.

READ: Former SFI executive director Ricky Ballesteros dies at 57

Lumad Basakanon, Omega de Salonera

Among them were the performing arts groups Lumad Basakanon of Barangay Basak San Nicolas in Cebu City and Omega de Salonera of Surigao del Norte.

“We, the Lumad Basakanon was greatly saddened by the death of one of the high caliber pillars in arts and culture and Sinulog Festival, sir Ricky Ballesteros,” the Lumad Basakanon said in a Facebook post.

Ballesteros is best critic

They said that Ballesteros was one of the best critics and advisers of their group.

They added that Ballesteros gave “tips on how to win whenever the group joins a competition nationally or internationally.”

“His unwavering support [is] rooted in the hearts of Lumad Basakanon. Thus, he will never be forgotten,” they added.

Timeless gratitude

Moreover, Omega de Salonera expressed their timeless gratitude to the Ballesteros through a Facebook post as well.

“Sir Ricky Ballesteros, no exact words can describe the pain we felt upon learning your sudden demise. You are not only an icon in Cebu but you d[e]finitely are an icon of hope, true friendship and the conqueror of dreams of Omega de Salonera!” the Omega de Salonera said.

Ricky Ballesteros has always been supportive of these two groups among others.

Subsequently, they also uploaded some screenshots of Ballesteros’ post which showed his support to the competitions they have participated in.

READ: Lumad Basakanons mourn death of Ricky Ballesteros

Friends, colleagues

To choreographer Princess Janel Mainar, Ballesteros has been one of the people who believed in his talents and capabilities.

Mainar said that the news was “heartbreaking” and he still could not believe it.

“You never fail to respond whatever akong gusto ipaconsult. Usa kas mga haligi kung unsa man ko nga klase nga choreographer karon, sir Ricky Ballesteros,” Mainar said in a post.

(You never fail to respond to whatever I wanted to consult (from you). You are one of the pillars of what kind of choreographer now, sir Ricky Ballesteros.)

Contribution of Ballesteros to CCSC

Meanwhile, Bethia Tambanillo, who worked in the Cebu City Sport Center (CCSC), has recalled Ballesteros’ contribution to CCSC where he served as manager in 2001.

“You may have gone “Sir” Ricky Ballesteros but you will be remembered! On behalf of our team from CCSC Dance4x we Salute and bid you “goodbye” but the Institution that you have built for the youth of Cebu City will remain!,” Tambanillo said in a post.

She added that she would never forget his “calmness” and “strictness” in implementing his program which resulted to the “success” of the events under his management.

Ballesteros backed ‘Kadaugan sa Mactan’

Furthermore, Congresswoman Ma. Cynthia “Cindi” King Chan also expressed her sadness at Ballesteros’ death.

Chan said that she had always been supportive of the ‘Kadaugan sa Mactan’ and other events in the city, especially the festivals.

READ: Lapu-Lapu contingent flies to Korea for Wonju Dynamic Dance Carnival

“Siya sab ang ni introduce namo nila Mr. Jhun ug nagfacilitate nga makajoin sa Wonju Dynamic Dance Festival sa South Korea. Daghang salamat, Sir Ricky. You and your legacy will be missed,” the congresswoman said in a post.

(He was the one who introduced us to Mr. Jhun and he was the one who facilitated that we can join the Wonju Dynamic Dance Festival in South Korea. Thank you very much, Sir Ricky. You and your legacy will be missed.)

These people are only some of the few who have been greatly influenced by Ballesteros’ legacy and work during his lifetime.

As of this posting, Ballesteros’ cause of death has not been disclosed yet.

A few hours after Ballesteros’ niece, Nikka Ballesteros posted about her uncle’s passing, Nikka uploaded a photo which seemed like her hand holding her uncle’s hand with the caption: “It’s hard to accept that you are no longer here. You never gave up on me. I may not be a perfect copy of you, but will always remember the things you taught me. Thank you for everything, especially for your love and patience.”

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