On October 14, 2022, Alike Media in partnership with Sta. Lucia Land Inc., hosted 27 teams in a 4-a-side scramble golf tournament. All 108 players were greeted with candy by Master Pastry Chef Kevin Ong and a personalized tote bag filled with essentials for the round of golf. Overall Champion Ronin Leviste shares, “It definitely didn’t feel like an inaugural tournament because of how well planned everything was.” As the participants arrived, the 14-man Metrophoto team fanned out to capture the players’ first ‘shot’ of the day amidst the giant wall of the ‘lookalike’ photo shoot.
After the departure ceremony for Archie Chiang, Justin Pe, Miguel Tan, Brian Poe Llamanzares, Raphael Tolentino and Marvin Mendoza – the 9 a.m. siren signals the departure of the shotgun and the players set off in their carts full of snacks. “It was the first tournament I played where my basket was full of V-cuts and Piattos!” says former Ateneo Golf team captain and member of AlikeCup overall champion Quito Diaz. Dominating the 18 holes of the Arnold Palmer course at Orchard Golf & Country Club proved difficult for some, but easy enough for most as 95% of the teams finished under par, with a handful of a rare eagle.
It was clockwork synchronization from start to finish, with each team guided by well-educated marshals on duty every step of the way. “It was one of the best tournaments I’ve been to because of the quality of its organization and delivery,” said Vince Ngo, member of the overall champion. It is “well planned, orderly [and] fun,” his teammate Quito also shares. The smoothness of the event is attributed to Alike’s meticulous attention to detail. Orchard Golf Director Mae Maraan recalls the aftermath of her first encounters with the Alike team saying “they are very detailed, they know exactly what they want”.
At 3 p.m. sharp, the Grand Ballroom opened for the program proper. Players and guests are seated to enjoy the live band, plentiful food and drink, raffle prizes and of course – the award ceremonies. All trophies were made by selected artists tasked with interpreting the AlikeCup’s interwoven themes of “golf, competition and excellence”. The finalists went home with a resin, wood and wire golfer’s Jojo Ramirez trophy while the champions took home a steampunk-style Ram Mallari Trophy A, a symbol of industry success, discipline and courage.
However, the highlight of the night was Toym Imao’s 14.5 x 4.1 inch ‘Bring Your A-Game’ welded steel artwork for the 2022 AlikeCup Overall Champions. The son of the late national artist Abdulmari Imao wrote “the colors of the trophy are inspired by the greens and blues of the golf course. Shaped by the upward curves of a golfer’s swing forming the letter ‘A’. While the origami birds, often seen in Toym’s works, representative in the case – avian golf forms. And perhaps being its deserving recipient is something we can only imagine with glory. As General Champion member Ronin recalls, “I don’t think I’ve seen a trophy as prestigious as this true work of art. It’s as if we had won a piece of history!
But perhaps what really separates the AlikeCup is the crowd. As Marketing Director Brian Poe Llamanzares says, “Every golf tournament celebrates something different. The AlikeCup celebrated a community of vibrant and successful young individuals. It was organized, fun and well attended – the highlight of the year for many young golfers. Or as Darren Flores, Member of the Overall Champion, calls it the “Millennium Tournament,” which brought a very “relaxing” energy and “good vibes” without diminishing the challenge and excitement of athletic competition. Granted, it was a predominantly young crowd with 93% of attendees between the ages of 21 and 38, with 7% seasoned dignitaries.
Whether or not the first AlikeCup was purposely designed for the younger generation remains a mystery, Alike’s founder and CEO best friend duo – Chari Trinidad-Mendoza and Rose Tolentino have just this to share – “it’s improves every year.
We can bet the AlikeCup Invitational Tournament is something to look forward to every year. Not only did he score a par, but maybe even a hole-in-one – on his debut.
“The AlikeCup not only lived up to the hype, but exceeded it in many ways,” said Vice Mayor Ronin Leviste, member of the overall champion.