My Hosting Stint Is Over

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Racing fans who have tuned in to the Manila Jockey Club (MJC) San Lazaro Leisure Park (SLLP) live race coverage this raceweek starting August 28 may wonder why they no longer see my face or hear my voice on air.

My supporters are asking – what happened?

In a nutshell, the broadcast provider, Winners’ Circle Production Inc. (WCPI) dropped my services for this and the next raceweek as part of a cost-cutting measure since they have only up to Sept 16 to air.

After that, a new broadcast provider, Makisig Network Inc. – Macho Sports, takes over the live race coverage starting Sept 25. They will ensure that SLLP races will still be seen over SkyCable.

For over ten years, Winners’ Circle Production Inc. (WCPI) was the broadcast production provider of SLLP/Manila Jockey Club, since the racetrack was still at the San Lazaro Hippodrome. They have been a part of racing for a long time; they will be missed.

From the bottom of my heart, I thank WCPI’s president, horseowner Dante “Sonny” Arevalo, for giving me a place on his team. He has always been very kind to me, and I appreciate all his help and understanding. Tito Sonny, thank you so very much!

Although Makisig Network initially promised me several times that I would still be a host once they take over, they informed me recently that they were “presented with a different concept” and will be hiring “fresh faces”.

While they offered me a production role as a prompter/scriptwriter “spoon-feeding” the new hosts with their adlibs, it is not a role that I would be comfortable with or is even appropriate, given the circumstances.

Therefore I will have no role with the new broadcast provider.

However, as Broadcast Communication head of MJC, I will still liaise and coordinate with Makisig to ensure that the Club obtains the best quality coverage for SLLP races.

Since 2002, I have been a commentator of the races on live cable TV – first for Santa Ana Park until 2005, then for SLLP from 2005 till last raceweek. Over my four years of “racecasting”, I have honed not only my hosting abilities but also my skills in race analysis, to the point where I can (sometimes) pinpoint longshot winners or placers (much to the glee of my friend, mediaman Tony Calvento).

It was great, GREAT fun!

I sincerely thank everyone who has supported and guided me through the years: the racecallers who have taught me so much (Ricardo de Zuniga, Ira Herrera, Ernie Enriquez, Vic Sandig); and fellow sportscasters (Comm. Boboc Domingo, Andy Sevilla, Bob Novales, Oscar Dizon).

Mention must also be made of the debt I owe the various production people I’ve worked with: (Noli Dimaandal, Benjie Yap, Jobuks Llamanzares, Roel Taripe, Norman Roxas, Willy Eustaquio, Wendell, King, Direk Rey Decena, and everyone at Prime Channel and WCPI). Guys, you made me look and sound good – salamat!

My deepest thanks also to Club officials (from PRC, Mr. Fulton Su, who gave me my first break at hosting, Mr. Andy Maramag, Ms. Jessica Villanueva, and Atty. Mon Ereneta; from MJC, Atty. Boy Reyno, Atty. King Reyno, Mr. Ding Magboo, and Adm. Juan de Leon); and production company owners (from Prime, Mr. Gary Lauriano and from WCPI, again, Mr. Sonny Arevalo).

I reserve a very special “Thank You” for the racing fans who have been staunch and loyal supporters (those from http://www.phf.com.ph, people who come up to me in malls or in the street or at the racetrack).

Thanks to all; if you have touched my life in some way and I did not mention you, sorry, my bad. I’ve had so much fun all these years “bringing you the races live”, as my spiel goes.

I just hope you did too.

Photo shows me on the panel at SLLP, 4 August 2007. Little did I know, when this picture was taken, that my days of hosting would soon be over.

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