Remembering Alice Lluch Andrada, Philippine women’s golf trailblazer

Ricardo Jorge S. Caluen

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Remembering Alice Lluch Andrada, Philippine women’s golf trailblazer

ANDRADA WOMEN. Alice Andrada with daughters Ana Marie (left) and Veronica (right) on holiday in Hong Kong.


Alice Andrada placed Iligan on the map for entering what was then an exclusive enclave for men – the sport of golf

On June 27, 2024, a pioneer in Philippine sports was laid to rest in her beloved hometown of Iligan City where she was born to another pioneer, businessman Captain Benjamin B. Andrada, a native of Capiz, and a relative of President Manuel A. Roxas Sr., and Doña Concepcion Tabora Lluch of the famous Spanish family of Iligan.

Today’s generation in Iligan may have heard of the Andrada family name because of the iconic Andrada Building in Ilaya or other successful enterprises the Andrada family is known for (like the Andrada Compound where I spent my early childhood years). But decades back, Alice Andrada placed Iligan on the map for entering what was then an exclusive enclave for men – the sport of golf.

Successively, Alice Andrada became the first woman to become a member of the National Golf Association of the Philippines (NGAP). She also founded the Southern Ladies Tournament and headed it as long as she could for some 62 years with the purpose of connecting women golfers in southern Philippines with their counterparts in Metro Manila.

Age did not stop Andrada from playing her favorite sport. She encouraged her peers to do the same by founding the Senior Ladies Golf Association, which is still thriving after 40 years. She was also the president of the Women’s Golf Association of the Philippines (WGAP).

Did I mention that Alice Andrada was the first woman to make a hole-in-one in Alabang Country Club?

Talk about breaking the glass ceiling (and not because of a golf ball!).

Alice Lluch Andrada
PIONEER. Alice Lluch Andrada in golfing action.

I first met Tita Alice around 1980 when I was collecting old photos of Iligan for a special magazine of the National Steel Corporation (NSC) News I was making. She was a gracious host in the beautiful home of her parents in Ilaya, which is the oldest Spanish-era residential section of Iligan.

She not only showed me their family albums but also lent/gave some photos that always graced not only my “Vignettes of Iligan History” but also subsequent photo exhibits. To me, the most notable photo from the Andrada album is the one of the Lanao delegation to the inauguration of President Roxas in 1947. The photo was taken in the official reception room of Malacañan Palace with the President himself joining the group.

By marriage to the late Ernesto Neri Tamparong, a lawyer/professor and former Dean of the College of Law and Commerce of Xavier University, Alice Andrada was related to some of Cagayan de Oro’s oldest and respected families. By extension, because the Neris of CDO are descended from the famous Samporna clan, she was also connected to the noble families of Lanao.

If ever Iligan had high society women, Alice Andrada would have been the last of them. She was a true-blue upper crust who was once a campus beauty queen during her student days in Zamboanga City, and who may have been the first female water-skier in Mindanao when once-upon-a-time Iligan Bay was a wide watery playground of the local elite back in the 1950s.

Alice Andrada leaves behind her children Veronica, widow of the late Iligan businessman Uriel “Jojo” Borja; Ana Marie; Ernesto and wife Eileen Ria Banzuelo; and grandchildren. She was predeceased by sons Tony Tamparong and Rene Tan, husband of Erla Banzuelo.

I hope the grass around the grave of Tita Alice is really green. –

Ricardo Jorge S. Caluen is a retired professor of Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology.

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