Esteemed colleagues in the sportswriting fraternity are going to have a piece of the limelight in the San Miguel Corporation-Philippine Sportswriters Association Annual Awards Night.
A Lifetime Award in Sports Journalism will be given to former editors Recah Trinidad, Ding Marcelo, Jun Engracia, Al S. Mendoza, Eddie Alinea, and Percy Della, while late sports editors Joe S. Antonio and Ernie Gonzales are going to be honored with a separate PSA Special award.
The traditional gala night of the country’s oldest media organization is set on Monday at the grand ballroom of the Diamond Hotel and presented by the Philippine Sports Commission and Cignal TV and ably backed by the Philippine Olympic Committee, Mayor Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, MILO, Smart, MVP Sports Foundation, Rain or Shine, 1Pacman Rep. Mikee Romero, Philippine Basketball Association, OKBet, ICTSI, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation.
Hidilyn Diaz, the country’s first ever Olympic gold medalist, leads the long list of the 2022 honor roll that also includes a who’s who in Philippine sportswriting.
Trinidad was known for his hard-hitting “Bare Eye” column in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, where he also served among its early editors in the mid-80s.
He honed his craft as a reporter at the Philippine Herald and the Manila Times, before becoming the first editor of Tempo, when it was first launched in 1982. He also previously worked with the Daily Express, Malaya and Sports Flash.
A product of The Dawn, the official student publication of the University of the East, Marcelo was sports editor of Bulletin until his retirement in 2017.
He began his writing career with the Chronicle before transferring to Bulletin, where he was once a Malacañang beat reporter.
Later on, he became news editor of Tempo, and then managing editor of Bulletin.
A veteran runner, triathlete, and health buff, Engracia was formerly news editor of the Philippine Daily Inquirer and worked with the Daily Express in the 70s.
Mendoza was a three-time Palanca Awardee, who began his career at Bulletin and Panorama.
He then joined the Philippine Daily Inquirer where he became sports editor. He currently writes a weekly column in the Business Mirror (That’s All) and SunStar Cebu (All Write).
Della was also a grizzled veteran in the sports beat, starting out with ABS-CBN, Times Journal, and Philippine News Agency before migrating to the United States and worked at City News Service and with the Los Angeles Herald Examiner.
He became part of the California State Service as Public Information Officer and retired as spokesperson for energy under former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Alinea was the former editor of the PNA, who also had extensive experience writing for such publications as Manila Times, Bulletin, Manila Standard, Journal Group of Publications, Business Mirror, among others.
Meanwhile, Antonio and Gonzales both passed away last year, but likewise left an indelible legacy in the local sportswriting community.
Antonio, 69, was the well-respected, long-time sports editor of the People’s Journal, who began his career with the Times Journal in the mid-70s while still studying at University of the East.
A beloved fan of the late action king Fernando Poe Jr., he was also the longest serving treasurer of the PSA.
Gonzales, 78, on the other hand, was the former sports editor of the Manila Chronicle and widely regarded as one of the best Filipino sportswriters.
He first worked as a sportswriter with the Daily Express, and had stints with the Manila Times, and as desk editor at SunStar, Philippine Star and Philippine Daily Inquirer.