why Julianne Alvarez is my favorite Kinoy*

Julianne still all smiles after gruelling practice on the green.

Julianne still all smiles after gruelling practice on the green.

[Note : Congrats to Didith Tayawa-Figuracion, Meia Lopez and the rest of the contributors of KABAYAN, the one and only Wellington Pinoy newsmagazine for their spectacularly outstanding Issue No. 3!  Please find the online version if you haven’t gotten your hard copy at  http://www.pinoystop.org/kabayan/, mabuhay ang lahing kayumanggi!  Maraming salamat  po to KABAYAN for allowing us to repost our contribution here, woohoo!]

TUCKED AWAY in a quiet, unassuming corner in one of Wellington’s quiet, unassuming suburbs lives one of New Zealand‘s most talented female golfers.  At the ridiculously young age of 17 she is number five on the New Zealand Order of Merit,** and would rank even higher if she played more tournaments.  And yes, she most definitely is a Filipina, the child of Pinoy parents Vergel and Monica Alvarez.

Before you conjure images of untold riches and superhuman feats made popular by budding golf superstar Lydia Ko, already the number one amateur golfer in the world, for the most part Julianne Alvarez is an unaffected, low-key Year 13 student from one of Wellington’s respected Catholic schools.  Julianne would rather hang out with friends in the mall than discuss her achievements.  But she has just been too good and too competitive to bloom like a rose isolated in the woods.

Since she was five, Julie has always competed with golfers much older than her, says mom Monica, who credits husband Vergel as the initial influence in their daughter’s golfing life.

“I think she was around seven or eight, swinging her golf irons one Saturday when a trio of Manor Park (their golf club in Lower Hutt) ladies approached and asked if she could complete the foursome.”  It only took the slightest of prodding from her parents for Julianne to join the foursome for what would be the start of something big.

Less than 10 years later, Julianne has become one of the brightest hopes of New Zealand women’s golf and is a mainstay of Team Wellington in challenging Auckland and the other powerhouses in annual interprovincial competition.  Her potential is literally unlimited.

And so the inevitable question is asked : in a perfect world, would Julianne be willing to lend her vast talents to represent the Philippines for international glory?

Apparently the perfect situation must remain unreachable, because strict rules of the sport and citizenship challenges would make Julianne’s participation in the national team at best, a faint and remote possibility.

But as the shoe ad says, impossible is nothing, and never says never.  By combining native Pinoy competitiveness, innate talent and unswerving discipline, there is no limit to what Julianne Alvarez and her golf clubs can do.  Wherever she goes, her kabayan community will be looking on proudly!

Mabuhay Julianne and family!

*Kinoy, a contraction for Kiwi Pinoy, is a non-racial term for Filipinos who’ve either been born or have migrated to New Zealand

**The New Zealand Order of Merit in golf means a season-long player ranking in New Zealand Golf based on the highest to lowest points on the Order of Merit (OOM) calendar.  Points are allocated to tournaments dependent on the strength of the field and their ranking within the R & A points ranking system.



4 thoughts on “why Julianne Alvarez is my favorite Kinoy*

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