So far, the country has produced minimal competitions and special events for women’s tennis. Unlike the Men’s Grand Prix events, the Women’s Tennis Association professional tour have yet to make their stop in the Philippines to generate more interest. Experts believe tennis is a sport where Filipino women can excel in the international scene. One example is Marita Redondo, a Bicolana raised in the U.S. was among the world’s elite top 10 women tennis players in the 70’s.


In the 1950’s and 1960’s, sensing a continuing decline in sports, industrialist and sportsman Manolo Elizalde initiated a development program *YCO Youth), privately sponsoring numerous events that invested in youngsters proper appreciation of their importance in the scheme of the future.

Don Manolo belonged to an old Spanish family who was involved in sugar, steel, manufacturing, beverage, paints and the media business. Along with four brothers, they were brought up as fine scholars and athletes. Manolo combined both a passion for the Arts and a business acumen. He attended the Escorial in Spain, graduated with honors (Sobre Saliente) and then went on to Oxford. Managing his business was like raising a family; keeping everyone to work harmoniuosly as he provided them employment for life.

The youth program produced talented young athletes such as Johnny and Danny Jose, Andy Saranglao, Manda & Fred Elizalde, Eddie & Mike Dungo, Willie Hernandez, Jr., Augusto Villanueva, Jr., Eddie Cruz, Jimmy Gonzales, Jose & Ramon Villarete, Virgilio Austero, Jimmy & Jerry Sison and Macky Dominguez.

Elizalde’s son Fred was an Olympic swimmer, graduated Summa Cun Laude at Harvard as well as finishing with an architecture degree at Cambridge. Another son, Manda was later elected to the House of Senate of the Philippines.

Elizalde’s program not only gave opportunities to youngsters in the field of sports but also became the pioneer in promoting young athletes for higher education. Numerous players were awarded expensive scholarship grants by American Universities and Philippine Colleges which became an important foundation in a continuing tradition of "Scholar-Athletes" of tennis in the country.

Johnny Jose went to the University of Southern California (USC), Willie Hernandez, Jr. to University of Arizona, J. Villarete and Macky Domingues to Southern Illinois University. Elizalde endeared himself to the nation’s sports aficionadoes by bringing in the world’s top tennis players and basketball’s Harlem Globetrotters.

Together with his media company and Willie Hernandez Sr. as his leading spokesman, Don Manolo was able to bring sports and particularly Basketball (YCO Painters) to Filipino homes entertainment. The funds

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