By Jonas Terrado and Nick Giongco
Filomeno “Boy” Codinera, who rose to prominence for his local and international accomplishments in baseball and softball during the 1960’s and 1970’s, passed away late Tuesday. He was 77.
His son, basketball great and Arellano University coach Jerry Codinera, said the man called by many as “Mang Boy” passed away shortly before 11 p.m. Tuesday due to a stroke. The patriarch of the famed sporting family had been in failing health for years after suffering multiple strokes.
His last public appearance came last February, when Codinera, confined in a wheelchair, received the Lifetime Achievement Award in the Philippine Sportswriters Association Awards Night in recognition of his endearing feats his more popular son described as unmatched.
“Wala tayo sa kalingkingan niya,” said Jerry. “Incomparable yung mga nagawa niya, naging successful siya sa lahat ng sports na pinasok niya.”
A policeman by profession, the elder Codinera began his career as University of Santo Tomas as both at basketball and baseball player, before making his mark in the Manila Bay Baseball League as a power-hitting third baseman for Ysmael Steel and the Canlubang Sugar Barons.
The former member of Manila’s Finest also starred on the international stage by leading the Philippines to a bronze medal in the 1966 World Amateur Baseball Championship in Hawaii and a fourth place finish in the 1968 Men’s World Softball Championship in Oklahoma City.
It was in Oklahoma City where Codinera hit seven consecutive doubles, a feat that was later recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records.
Perhaps another great moment in Codinera’s career came during the 1972 Men’s Softball Championship when he hit a grand slam home run with two outs in the final inning to beat Mexico in front of a jubilant home crowd at the Marikina Sports Complex.
Aside from his athletic feats, Codinera will be remembered for his stories with anecdotes from his stints as a player as well as his days in the police force.
But it was Codinera’s fondness for the RMSC that made him a lovable figure not only among the writers who covered him and laughed at his jokes but even to the ones that made it their homes.
Joey Romasanta, the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) first vice-president and former Gintong Alay project director, has nothing but sweet memories about his association with Codinera.
“The Rizal Memorial was his happy place. It was his playground and he was happy being there,” said Romasanta, recalling the time when he asked for his help to rid the area around the RMSC of misfits, petty criminals, scalper, street vendors and drug dealers.
“We talked to the people living around the Rizal area and requested them to toe the line with the help of Boy Codinera,” said Romasanta, who event went on to join him in a tournament in Japan in the 1980s.
“It was like we were doing something like what President Rodrigo Duterte is doing by asking everyone who benefitted from the Rizal Memorial to cooperate,” said Romasanta.
Boy and wife Beatriz, a former volleyball player at UST, produced four children – Harmon, Jerry, Pamela and Pat. Jerry and Harmon tried their luck at baseball during their teens, but their height prompted them to concentrate on basketball.
Boy’s remains lie in state at the Holy Trinity Memorial in Paranaque City. Interment will be announced later.
Jerry built himself a decorated career in the PBA, earning him the nickname “The Defense Minister” for his defensive prowess, while Harmon and Pat had short professional careers.