Sports Talk with ‘The Dean’

by Czar Elcano |


Quinito Henson giving a casual lecture at The Manila Times College. Photo by John Roy Abenaza

Many journalists today write passionately about politics or national news, but only a few show interests on the back page of a newspaper where the Sports section is usually located.

On March 18, one of those gifted few with a great desire to read and write about sports stories shared with journalism students his take on why it is important to have a sports page or section in a newspaper.

Multi – award winning sports analyst, television commentator, and newspaper columnist Joaquin M. Henson, better known by his nickname Quinito, had an informal talk on campus journalism for students of the Manila Times College. He spoke about his love and passion for sports and his advocacy to put it in the national priority of government.

“When Pacquiao fights, they say that there is a zero crime rate,” Henson said as he talked about myths on boxing champ Manny Pacquiao. He used this to lay the basis for his case and the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) setting that unifies everyone in the colleges from alumni to students, janitors to faculty, and all the other members that form or have anything to do with the university.

Henson, who is also known by his monicker “The Dean,” encouraged his audience to consider a career in sports writing. He said that he sees sports as a rallying point for a nation that develops a national identity and acts as a breeder of heroes.

J ‘The Dean’with the Manila Times College Students. Photo contributed by Juan Fernando Camahalan


In his lecture, he also pointed out that sports is pervasive and promotes self-esteem. To point out the importance of the Sports Section in the newspaper, Henson quoted Earl Warren, saying: “I always turn to the sports section first. The sports section records people’s accomplishments; the front page… nothing but man’s failures.”

He gave valuable tips and techniques to succeed in the field, abbreviating these into 3Rs:  relevant, keeping up with the temper of the times; responsible, being truthful, fair, and objective; and, resonant, being inspiring, expressive, and effective in communication. These, he said, are the pillars that he deems necessary in journalism.

His advice to students to excel in anything they do: you have to want it. To want it is to have these four disciplines: passion for writing, ability to communicate (a learnable skill), credibility, and commitment to excellence.

“You have to have your niche. You can’t just be a face in the crowd. You have to be outstanding, and it is in your power to be outstanding,” said Henson, who writes a regular sports column Sporting Chance under “The Dean’s Corner” in the Philippine Star.

“Philippine Star also carries press releases but you will find that the articles with my byline, you cannot read that substance anywhere else,” he said with pride.

Henson’s talk inspired the students to continue pursuing a career in journalism and honing their craft as writers.

Henson ended his talk on a high note: “You decide your own fate. I say that because there are so many opportunities and you are now the master of your own destiny. You are assured of employment when you graduate, and your options are varied.”


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