Goodbye, my cumpadre Modesto Bonzo

By April 27, 2024Sports Eye

By Jesus A. Garcia Jr.


I WAS shocked to receive a sad message from a retired cyclist and former Highway Patrol Group (HPG) member Anthony Valdez of Urdaneta City, informing me that 1976 Tour of Luzon champion Modesto Bonzo passed away last April 18 but it was not clear if he died from heat stroke. It was hard to believe the news because my cumpadre Bonzo was still very healthy last time I met him during the awarding ceremony of the 21 Pangasinan cycling Tour champions organized by Lingayen Mayor Leopoldo Bataoil. My teammate in the 1973 Tour of Luzon, the Manila based Manuel Pucan confirmed the bad news. I recalled all the honors that he selflessly gave Pangasinan.

Records say he was the 9th of the 21 Pangasinan professional riders who won the fabled and prestigious multi-stage bicycle race after Rufino Gabot of Manaoag in 1957, the late Mamerto Eden of Mapandan in 1958, Edmundo de Guzman of Lingayen in 1962, Gonzalo Recodos of Manaoag in 1963, this writer in 1973, the late Teodorico Rimarim of Basista in 1974, Samson Carino of Mangaldan in 1975 (Tour of PICCA), and Samson Etrata of Binalonan also in 1975. Bonzo with a rank of master sergeant in the Philippine National Police (PNP) was the last rider during the years when Pangasinan pedal-pushers dominated  the race in the 1970s. Aside from 13-year-old amateur cyclist Kenneth Manzano of Umingan who died due to road accident during his training held last January 25, Bonzo, 75, was the third Pangasinan professional cyclist to pass away this year after veteran Rolando Cagunot of Basista who died last week of February due to ‘stroke’, my town mate, teammate and cumpadre Cesar Catambay last March 31. He may be gone but he left a legacy that will never be forgotten. Goodbye cumpadre Moding. Rest in peace and I know you’re now at the good hands of our Lord. My deepest and heartfelt condolences to his bereaved family.

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It’s sad to know that our contingent in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) called “Pangasinan Heatwaves” suffered its third loss against Quezon Huskers, 68-72, last April 23. Our Pangasinan five is now carding one win with three losses and was dropped to 20th place overall out of 30 teams in the said league. Their losses were in the hands of Abra, 75-83, against Valenzuela City 85-86, and Quezon province.  Their lone victory was a 32-points rip versus Bulacan, 87-55. Latest report I received from Calasiao town’s chief executive Kevin Macanlalay was a confirmation that our Pangasinan five will return to Pangasinan on April 27 (Saturday) to tangle against the highly favored Marikina squad at the Calasiao Sports Complex at 8:00 p.m. See you there.

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The 2nd Mayor Kevin Macanlalay Cycling Classic scheduled to run on May 4 might be moved to June 12 (Independence Day) due to financial constraint, according to Calasiao Mayor Macanlalay. To postpone or not, our cyclists can wait.

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.” JOHN 4: 24, 25, 26

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