IT WAS very praiseworthy of the world’s tennis stars to come to the aid on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020 of wildfire victims in Australia.
They did it through a charity tournament at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, the perennial home of the Australian Open.
Raised quickly following a capacity crowd of more than 15,000 was nearly five million Australian dollars ($3.5 million) for the Australian Open’s Rally for Relief amid the catastrophe that had already killed 28 people and hundreds more of wildlife, and destroyed thousands of homes in New South Wales and Victoria states.
(Thank God, my friends Ramon and Becky Acebes and Boy and Sheila Baluran—all from Sydney—are safe.)
Roger Federer defeated Nick Kyrgios in the one-set finale favor fans savoring the wares and exploits of tennis heavyweights in the one-day event that also included Naomi Osaka, Alexander Zverev, Dominic Thiem, Serena Williams, Caroline Wozniacki, Petra Kvitova, Coco Gauff, Novak Djokovic, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Rafael Nadal.
Their participation also formalized their commitment to play in the Australian Open that begins on Monday, with Djokovic expressing, finally, his willingness to join after considering withdrawal over quality of air issues.
The bushfires that began in September yet have caused smoke to invade Melbourne so that even residents themselves have continuously complained of bad air.
But with the conflagration seemingly subsiding due to rains during the past few weeks, fears of air pollution had considerably died down.
Here’s a glass to Federer & Co. for their generosity to the Australian people long suffering from the bushfires, a yearly phenomenon but had gotten unusually worse this year.
At home, Commissioner Willy Marcial of the Philippine Basketball Association said they will also hold a similar charity work for the Taal Volcano eruption victims. The eruption has now displaced more than half a million people, who are now living in evacuation centers in Laguna, Batangas and Cavite.
Our love for the Taal victims is also our love for humanity.