Philippines Tops 2012 ASEAN Golf Tournament in Japan

Team Philippines led by Philippine Ambassador to Japan Manuel M. Lopez took the Overall Championship Trophy in the Team Category of the 2012 ASEAN Committee-Tokyo (ACT) Golf Tournament held last 7 October at the East Course of the Sunhills Country Club in Utsunomiya City, Tochigi Prefecture, north of Tokyo.

ISPS Chair Dr. Haruhisa Handa poses with the victorious Philippine Team led by Ambassador Lopez
(Photo by Chino Caddarao/InFocus Photography)

Apart from the Overall championship, members of Team Philippines also shined in the individual categories. Mr. Nestor Manrique and Mr. Hermie Marquez, Filipinos based in Japan, placed First and Third in the Individual Player Category, respectively. Mr. Manrique also earned a trophy for “Most Birdies”, while compatriot Mr. Denmark Musngi was awarded for posting the “Longest Drive” of the competition. Tourism Attaché Valentino Cabansag and Mr. Johnny Dee, who copped the 10th and 20th places, respectively, rounded up the list of Filipino awardees.

The Philippine Team composed of the following (from left to right) Denmark Musngi, Nestor Manrique,Johnny Dee,Ric Yambao, Louie Orines, Manny Austria, Amb. Manuel Lopez,Val Cabansag, Pol Orines and Hermie Marquez
(Photo by Chino Caddarao/InFocus Photography)

It was the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo’s turn to host the annual Golf Tournament, in cooperation with the International Sports Promotion Society (ISPS) led by its esteemed Chairman, Dr. Haruhisa Handa, one of Japan’s leading corporate icons, a patron of the arts, and a philanthropist who has channeled his passion for sports to worthy charities. Part of the proceeds of the 2012 ACT Tournament will benefit areas still recovering from the March 2011 earthquake in Japan’s Tohoku region.

The ASEAN Ambassadors together with the ACT Golf Tournament’s participating teams
(Photo by Chino Caddarao/InFocus Photography)

In opening the event, Ambassador Lopez’s described the Philippine Embassy’s hosting of the event as consistent with the Philippines unwavering efforts to help foster unity and cohesion within the ASEAN since 1967, being one of the organization’s founding members. “Through this Tournament, we further our own mini-ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community in Japan and consolidate unity in diversity. In co-organizing this Tournament, the Philippines supports the ACT’s objective, as mandated by the ASEAN Charter, of advancing ASEAN’s interests and identity in Japan”, said Ambassador Lopez.

The annual event saw the participation of nine (9) teams spearheaded by the Ambassadors of Brunei, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, and Vietnam. Thailand was led by its Chargé d’Affaires. A total of 60 players played and tested their skills against Sunhills’ challenging fairways and undulating greens, designed to conform and maintain harmony with the mountainous terrain of Tochigi Prefecture.

Ambassador Lopez and Team Philippines with their trophies
(Photo by Chino Caddarao/InFocus Photography)

The tournament was capped with Awarding Ceremonies that featured leading Japan-based Filipino artists Jenny Nishimura, former Bagong Kampeon champion, and Vergel Sansano, a folk singer.

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