Almost as routinary yet well-executed as the kata or formal exercises in traditional karate he does like a daily morning prayer, former world martial arts champion Julian Chees recently came home for a humanitarian pilgrimage of reaching out to indigent patients here and in Mt. Province.
In his latest annual personal travel home last Christmas, the Germany-based karateka from Maligcong, Bontoc, Mt. Province totaled P174,000 in expenses in the outreach program for the sick he began years back through the Julian Chees Kinderhilfe Foundation he established over 10 years ago.
“I grew up in poverty and know pretty well how difficult it is for the poor to be hospitalized or afflicted with ailment necessitating continuous medication or surgery,” Chees said.
A sidebar of his medical mission is the construction of the Maligcong Elementary School in Bontoc which received P17,910 worth of materials. The amount was donated by Achim Stuff Engineering in Germany.
He likewise provided fund support to patients Denver Farnican, Audrey Farnican, Kyrho Kiwaren, Alfredo Awichen, Florentina Coltong, Danilo Cabbab, Dionisia Corcoro, Jane Corcoro and Joan Guinayan.
The recipients of medical support here in Baguio included five young pulmonary infection patients –Domrick Copmba-as, Javer Cayat, Nehemiah Vicente, Diana Myla Simeon and Michael dela Cruz – together with kidney patients Marie Joy Ligudon, Jim Ballogat and this writer.
Likewise kidney patient Danilo Cabbab of Bontoc, Mt. Province received P20,000 support for his dialysis.
A former member of the national karate team of Germany, Chees studied under the late master Kunio Sasaki who, in the 1960s, was sent to propagate the shotokan (knife-hand) style of the martial art developed by master Gichin Funakoshi.
He later transferred to West Germany where he began establishing a name by topping competitions in Europe, prompting the team to take him in.
His numerous awards was topped by his winning the kata event in the 1993 World Shotokan Championships in Saarsbrucken, Germany. /Ramon Dacawi.