It was with sheer delight when I caught sight of Miss Tagbilaran of 1993 Sophia Lorraine Alvarez at one of the restaurants in Tagbilaran City. Sophia, who is still as lovely as the day she was crowned the city’s fairest was with hubby Joel Gentallan and sons Christian &Jovani Andrew and Rudy Alvarez, her dad.
Your Blogger, Justin, Sophia & Joel|
They jetted in all the way from Milford, Connecticut where they have been based since 2004. The Roving Eye was the pageant emcee when Sophia was crowned Tagbilaran’s fairest 21 years ago. After exchanging a few pleasantries, I asked about her kids and I found out about her older son’s exploits in baseball
JUSTIN IN ACTION
So when did it all start? I asked Sophia. Here’s the story in Sophia’s words
“Justin Christian who was born on August 24, 2005 at Norwalk, Connecticut has been playing baseball since he was five years old. It was called T-ball at that age since the ball is placed in a tee and they hit it. Then after a year, he played the coach pitch where the coach pitched to the kids. They also used the pitching machine to deliver the pitches. Justin's first coach was his father Joel who used to play baseball in the Palarong Panlalawigan when he was growing up in Bohol.
Justin won the Sportsmanship award during his second year playing this sport which is awarded to kids who exhibit the qualities of a good player. Early this year, he made it to the pre-season tournament representing Milford, Connecticut. He was selected by his coach.
Then during the spring season he was invited to try out for the Milford Junior Major League to represent Milford again for the travel team to compete with other neighboring towns in Connecticut in two baseball tournaments namely: Carl Burdick Invitational Tournament and Bethwood 8U Friendship Tournament of which he was chosen to play as the 3rd baseman of their team. They emerged as champions in both tournaments.
“He is the only one of Filipino descent in their team and probably in the Milford CT baseball league. He is currently training to be a pitcher as his father was during his time. He is not good yet but he is hoping that in no time he will be able to throw a fast ball or if not a knuckle ball.”
Isn't it heartwarming to know how fellow Boholanos are excelling in the fields that they have forayed in? In the case of Justin Christian, much of the credit goes to very supportive parents like Sophia and Joel.
Sophia further said,
“We never pressured Justin because Joel and I believe that kids will thrive in what they enjoy and are really passionate with. What we can do is give our all- out support so that he and of course, his younger brother Jovani Andrew could become the best that they can be”
“And to make sure that they don’t forget their roots, we also talk to them in our Boholano dialect and tell them as much as we can about where we come from and encourage them to be proud of their Boholano& Filipino heritage”
NO SIBLING RIVALRY HERE: Justin Christian & kid brother Jovani Andrew
To Sophia and Joel, thank you for granting this exclusive interview.