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CAGAYAN DE ORO – The Breeding Ground of Hunter Darters
Updated September 04, 2014

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No less than The Titan said it.  On the last and final day of TSADarts Episode III, Ian Perez did not play in the 3-Man Classified Draw.  He rested the whole morning.  He wanted to come prepared in the afternoon for the tough games in the Singles event.  So did other national darters like Boie Parfan, and Prussian Arceño.  You know why?  Because this is Cagayan De Oro.  This is the place where the hunters (localspeak for accurate and deadly darters) give the so-called glamour darters of Manila headaches and heartaches on the boards.  Almost always.

Let me first give you a little background and a bit of history.  In the early 70’s and 80’s, big dart tournaments were confined and played only in Manila.  In 1985, the then DCP prexy Andy Mercado tried testing the provincial market.  He organized a P25K Terton Cup in Cebu.  The result was mildly successful but very encouraging.  CDO sent a team that participated in that Cebu tourney composed of Regina Darts Club (RDC) darters.  RDC was the first darts pub in downtown CDO located along Malvar Street and headed by the flamboyant Tonette Jaranilla.  Tonette approached Andy in Cebu and convinced him to hold the Terton Cup in CDO next year.  Andy was reluctant at first but eventually gave his blessing and support.  What Andy did not know was that Tonette had bigger plans for darts in CDO. 

In May 1986, Tonette announced to the country that the Terton Cup will be held in Alta Tierra, the premiere hotel in CDO located atop the hill and with a panoramic view of the city.  Big time venue!  He further announced that the total prize money has been increased.  He doubled it to become a P50K Open Doubles tournament.  Wow, big time money! Excitement immediately began floating in the air.  Dartboards began appearing on wooden electric posts in the city.  Come tournament time, darters from Manila, Cebu, and Mindanao provinces arrived and flooded the city.  Total participants – 377 players and 1984 national champion Flor Aldon and partner Estoy Densing won the championship. 

It was a huge success.  Darts in CDO exploded.  Darts fever spilled-over in nearby cities as Tonette tirelessly organized dual meets with Iligan, Butuan, Gingoog, and Davao cities.  In turn, it produced numerous great national darters from Mindanao.   But the most important achievement of all, it brought into national consciousness that promdi darters were good and feared as much as Manila darters.  

CDO produced great rated darters by batches.  In the late 80’s and early 90’s, Dixie Ybañez, Estoy Densing, and multinational champ Ricky Villanueva reigned supreme.  The 2000’s saw the emergence of top players, Bert Lozano, Henry Rivera, Jun Espinola, and Mark Palad.  Today, you can see the emergence of young guns in Alexis 9-darter Toylo, Jon Jon Lucanas, Mark Lumilang, and Abet Sarmiento.  But wait. There are more young talents in the pipeline like Ryan Galceran, Tata Laplap, and Dodo Guangco.  Even in the Seniors’ category, deadly darters are a plenty.  Jojo Gaane, July Moralde, Wawing Aleria, Chito Halasan are some who gives me cardiac tension whenever I face them. CDO has proven and continues to be a fertile breeding ground for hunter darters year after year after year. 

TSADarts Episode III
The 2-day P100K NDFP sanctioned tournament saw the continuing high level of exciting games, especially the ones played in the Open Singles event.  The quarter–finals play for top 8 featured top caliber darters: Toylo vs Gabiana, Perez vs Lucanas, Parfan vs Arceño, Villamor vs Barsubia.  Most games were booming 13 to 15 dart finishes.  They were the rule and the standard.  And almost all the match-ups came to a do-or-die decision game.  The well-behaved crowd loved it, and was thrilled up to the very end.  Bong Gabiana prevailed over Boie Parfan in the finals and emerged as the champ. 

The Titan Ian Perez’ apprehension at the start of the tournament proved to be true and with basis.  He landed in joint 5th to 8th place, his lowest finish so far in the NDFP circuit after 4 successive runner-up finishes.  I asked him how he feels about all those tough losses much more to those championship matches.  His emotional reply: all those losses are painful.  It hurts always.  But the pain is lessened when you know that you gave them your all and yet the result is still a loss.  Nandyan talaga ang swerte at nandyan din ang malas.  Mangyayari yan.  I just give them by best shots, physically and mentally.  And after the game, I realized na madaling tanggapin ang results ng laro no matter what the outcome. 

Good point you have there, The Titan.  But hold your breath guys.  Di pa tapos ang laban.  Ian is a proven strong finisher.  And he has “The Will To Win”.  Bubulusok yan lalo pag bandang 4th quarter na ng taon.  And he has declared that he is determined to get NDFP’s first Darter of the Year award.  I predict the Peñafrancia Festival in Naga City will be as explosive as the recent TSADarts Episode III in CDO. 

See you at the boards. 

DART DIARY ENTRY NO. 21, Sept 04, 2014
DART DIARY ENTRY NO. 20, July 11, 2014
DART DIARY ENTRY NO. 19, June 05, 2014
DART DIARY ENTRY NO. 18, May 19, 2014
DART DIARY ENTRY NO. 17, April 14, 2014
DART DIARY ENTRY NO. 16, March 12, 2014
DART DIARY ENTRY NO. 15, February 19, 2014
DART DIARY ENTRY NO. 14, February 07, 2014
DART DIARY ENTRY NO. 13, January 15, 2014
DART DIARY ENTRY NO. 12, January 03, 2014
DART DIARY ENTRY NO. 11, December 09, 2013
DART DIARY ENTRY NO. 10, November 29, 2013
DART DIARY ENTRY NO. 9, November 20, 2013
DART DIARY ENTRY NO. 8, October 17, 2013
DART DIARY ENTRY NO. 7, September 16, 2013
DART DIARY ENTRY NO. 6, September 02, 2013
DART DIARY ENTRY NO. 5, August 28, 2013
DART DIARY ENTRY NO. 4, August 22, 2013
DART DIARY ENTRY NO. 3, August 15, 2013
DART DIARY ENTRY NO. 2, August 11, 2013
DART DIARY ENTRY NO. 1, August 02, 2013

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