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Bye-bye Macoi (Makwa)

Shuttler Aguda leaves Saipan today

By Jon Perez

Macoi Aguda falls on the floor while trying to hit the shuttle in this file photo taken during the the inaugural Northern Marianas Badminton Federation Tournament in Oct. 10, 2006. (Mark Rabago) Macoi Aguda's high-flying acts, powerful smashes, and numerous trick shots, plus the overall knowledge of the sport of badminton will surely be missed at the makeshift badminton court inside the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.

Badminton regulars at the Ada Gym will miss even the off-court exuberance demonstrated by Aguda as his friendly personality and always-glad-to-help attitude aided countless individuals improve their game in the new sport being introduced by the Northern Marianas Badminton Federation to the CNMI.

The 28-year-old Aguda will be leaving Saipan today in search for greener pastures in the mainland after being one of those luckily recruited to work in the hotel industry in Florida.

Aguda is a thing to watch inside the badminton court, during tournaments and practice games, as he treats audiences to a rare spectacle of how beautifully badminton is played and how easy it is to be learned.

Among Aguda's string of achievements in his brief eight-month stay on Saipan are winning the men's doubles title with Raj Jayalal in the NMBF's second organized tournament, the Traders Insurance/PTI Cup in May; and three trophies in the NMBF's inaugural games last year: mixed doubles crown with Janice Bungalos, a second place finish in the men's singles, and placing third in the men's doubles division with teammate Marconi Calindas.

But it is not only inside the court that Aguda showcased his talents as the former Shirley's Coffee Shop supervisor also won second place honors in the Grand Fiesta Pop Music Festival when he interpreted Calindas' composition “Sweet December”.

Aguda, who started playing badminton in his early 20s, said it was only here on Saipan that he continuously played the sport. “Six months before going to Saipan, I played back in Manila but it is here where I played continuously.”

Aguda said despite his high level of playing he is still new in the sport. “If you play against the best in Manila even though you have picked up the sport for a little time you will be forced to play at the same level as your opponents.

“Manila has a high level of competition and a lot of people are playing it, it enhances your game when you play against them.”

Before taking up badminton, indoor volleyball was Aguda's first love as he was part of Malate Catholic School's varsity team for four years.

He played volleyball even when he is already in college and started learning badminton when he finished his B.S. Psychology degree at Far Eastern University in Manila.

NMBF officials and members held a farewell party for Aguda on Sept. 7 wishing him luck and good tidings as he embarks on a new journey in Florida.

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