written by: Jay Ar T. Taperla and Stephanie A. Limgas
Geared with the theme “𝑩𝒂𝒍𝒊𝒌 𝑮𝒂𝒍𝒂𝒘, 𝑩𝒂𝒍𝒊𝒌 𝑳𝒂𝒓𝒐, 𝒂𝒕 𝑷𝒂𝒍𝒂𝒌𝒂𝒔𝒂𝒏,” student athletes from 31 selected Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) from the different cities and municipalities within the Regions I, II, III, and IV and National Capital Region (NCR) assembled at Marikina Polytechnic College as they march towards the Opening Ceremony of the first-ever Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Friendship Games held at Marikina Sports Complex, June 10.
With their facemasks on, over 1, 000 determined student athletes with their sports coach joined the jovial athlete parade, showcasing team support and camaraderie amidst the pandemic as they raise the banner that represents their city and municipality.
Delegates of the athletic event were from Caloocan, Las Piñas, Makati, Manila, Parañaque, Pateros, Taguig, Lingayen, Malasiqui, Tarlac, Bocaue, Malolos, Batanggas, Lipa, and host Local Government Units (LGUs), Pasay, Quezon, and Marikina City who gave a spectacular opening ceremony.
In her welcoming speech, CHED Executive Director IV, Atty. Cinderella Filipina S. Benitez-Jaro said that the event aims to involve all the student athletes in revitalizing sports in the academe which was ceased by the pandemic.
“𝑨𝒏𝒈 𝒑𝒂𝒍𝒂𝒌𝒂𝒔𝒂𝒏 𝒂𝒚 𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒅𝒊 𝒍𝒂𝒎𝒂𝒏𝒈 𝒑𝒂𝒓𝒂 𝒔𝒂 𝒎𝒈𝒂 𝒂𝒕𝒍𝒆𝒕𝒂, 𝒌𝒂𝒔𝒆 𝒂𝒏𝒈 𝒌𝒐𝒏𝒔𝒆𝒑𝒕𝒐 𝒏𝒈 𝒂𝒕𝒍𝒆𝒕𝒂 𝒂𝒚 𝒏𝒂𝒈𝒊-𝒆𝒗𝒐𝒍𝒗𝒆 𝒅𝒊𝒏, 𝒂𝒏𝒈 𝒌𝒐𝒏𝒔𝒆𝒑𝒕𝒐 𝒏𝒈 𝒑𝒂𝒍𝒂𝒌𝒂𝒔𝒂𝒏 𝒂𝒚 𝒎𝒂𝒚 𝒌𝒐𝒏𝒔𝒆𝒑𝒕𝒐 𝒏𝒂 𝒓𝒊𝒏 𝒏𝒈 𝒘𝒆𝒍𝒍𝒏𝒆𝒔𝒔, 𝒔𝒐 𝒂𝒏𝒈 𝑺𝒑𝒐𝒓𝒕𝒔 𝑫𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒍𝒐𝒑𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒕 𝒔𝒂 𝑪𝑯𝑬𝑫 𝒐 𝒔𝒂 𝑪𝒐𝒎𝒎𝒊𝒔𝒔𝒊𝒐𝒏 𝒐𝒏 𝑯𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒆𝒓 𝒐𝒏 𝑬𝒅𝒖𝒄𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏 𝒂𝒚 𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒅𝒊 𝒍𝒂𝒎𝒂𝒏𝒈 𝒎𝒈𝒂 𝒌𝒐𝒎𝒑𝒆𝒕𝒊𝒔𝒚𝒐𝒏 𝒌𝒖𝒏𝒈 𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒅𝒊 𝒑𝒂𝒏𝒈𝒂𝒏𝒈𝒂𝒍𝒂𝒈𝒂 𝒔𝒂 𝒑𝒉𝒚𝒔𝒊𝒄𝒂𝒍 𝒂𝒕 𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒂𝒍 𝒏𝒂 𝒂𝒔𝒑𝒆𝒕𝒐, 𝒂𝒏𝒈 𝒔𝒑𝒐𝒓𝒕𝒔 𝒅𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒍𝒐𝒑𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒕 𝒔𝒂 𝑪𝑯𝑬𝑫 𝒂𝒚 𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒅𝒊 𝒍𝒂𝒎𝒂𝒏𝒈 𝒑𝒂𝒏𝒈-𝒂𝒕𝒍𝒆𝒕𝒂 𝒌𝒖𝒏𝒈 𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒅𝒊 𝒑𝒂𝒏𝒈 𝒃𝒂𝒘𝒂𝒕 𝒆𝒔𝒕𝒖𝒅𝒚𝒂𝒏𝒕𝒆𝒏𝒈 𝑷𝒊𝒍𝒊𝒑𝒊𝒏𝒐,” Atty. Jaro said.
Meanwhile, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, Chairman of Committee on Sports and Health said that the current administration supports sporting events like this as they believe that engaging the youth to sports can keep them away from harmful vices such as dangerous drugs.
“𝑺𝒑𝒐𝒓𝒕𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒔 𝒍𝒊𝒌𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒐𝒏𝒆 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒂𝒍𝒔𝒐 𝒆𝒔𝒔𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒊𝒂𝒍 𝒊𝒏 𝒏𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏 𝒃𝒖𝒊𝒍𝒅𝒊𝒏𝒈… 𝒔𝒑𝒐𝒓𝒕𝒔 𝒅𝒐 𝒏𝒐𝒕 𝒐𝒏𝒍𝒚 𝒅𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒍𝒐𝒑 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒉𝒆𝒂𝒍𝒕𝒉 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒔𝒌𝒊𝒍𝒍𝒔 𝒐𝒇 𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒏𝒈 𝒑𝒆𝒐𝒑𝒍𝒆 𝒘𝒉𝒐 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒇𝒖𝒕𝒖𝒓𝒆 𝒍𝒆𝒂𝒅𝒆𝒓𝒔 𝒐𝒇 𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒄𝒐𝒖𝒏𝒕𝒓𝒚, 𝒊𝒕 𝒂𝒍𝒔𝒐 𝒑𝒓𝒐𝒎𝒐𝒕𝒆𝒔 𝒗𝒂𝒍𝒖𝒆𝒔 𝒍𝒊𝒌𝒆 𝒔𝒑𝒐𝒓𝒕𝒔𝒎𝒂𝒏𝒔𝒉𝒊𝒑, 𝒕𝒆𝒂𝒎𝒘𝒐𝒓𝒌 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒑𝒆𝒕𝒊𝒕𝒊𝒗𝒆𝒏𝒆𝒔𝒔. 𝑻𝒉𝒆𝒔𝒆 𝒗𝒂𝒍𝒖𝒆𝒔 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒘𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒘𝒆 𝒏𝒆𝒆𝒅 𝒊𝒏 𝒐𝒓𝒅𝒆𝒓 𝒕𝒐 𝒔𝒖𝒄𝒄𝒆𝒆𝒅 𝒊𝒏 𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒆𝒇𝒇𝒐𝒓𝒕𝒔 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒄𝒐𝒖𝒏𝒕𝒓𝒚,” Senator Go said.
On the other hand, CHED Chairperson Prof. J. Prospero E. De Vera, III emphasized that the CHED Friendship Games is also a way of celebrating the series of Higher Education’s and the country’s historical events that happened this year.
“𝑻𝒐𝒅𝒂𝒚 𝒐𝒓 𝒕𝒐𝒏𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒕, 𝒘𝒆’𝒓𝒆 𝒄𝒆𝒍𝒆𝒃𝒓𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒍𝒂𝒕𝒆𝒔𝒕 𝒐𝒇 𝒂 𝒔𝒆𝒓𝒊𝒆𝒔 𝒐𝒇 𝒉𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒐𝒓𝒊𝒄𝒂𝒍 𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒔 𝒂𝒔 𝒂 𝒄𝒐𝒖𝒏𝒕𝒓𝒚 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒊𝒏 𝒉𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒆𝒓 𝒆𝒅𝒖𝒄𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏. 𝑻𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒚𝒆𝒂𝒓, 𝒘𝒆 𝒘𝒆𝒍𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒇𝒊𝒓𝒔𝒕 𝒔𝒕𝒖𝒅𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒔 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑵𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒂𝒍 𝑨𝒄𝒂𝒅𝒆𝒎𝒚 𝒐𝒇 𝑺𝒑𝒐𝒓𝒕𝒔, 𝒂 𝒔𝒑𝒆𝒄𝒊𝒂𝒍 𝒔𝒆𝒄𝒐𝒏𝒅𝒂𝒓𝒚 𝒔𝒄𝒉𝒐𝒐𝒍 𝒘𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒆 𝒘𝒆 𝒄𝒂𝒏 𝒈𝒆𝒕 𝒂𝒕𝒉𝒍𝒆𝒕𝒆𝒔 𝒘𝒉𝒐 𝒘𝒊𝒍𝒍 𝒅𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒍𝒐𝒑 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒊𝒓 𝒔𝒑𝒐𝒓𝒕𝒔 𝒔𝒌𝒊𝒍𝒍… 𝒏𝒂𝒔𝒂 𝑪𝒍𝒂𝒓𝒌 𝑨𝒊𝒓 𝑩𝒂𝒔𝒆 𝒑𝒊𝒏𝒂𝒑𝒂𝒕𝒂𝒚𝒐 𝒂𝒏𝒈 𝒏𝒂𝒑𝒂𝒌𝒂𝒈𝒂𝒏𝒅𝒂𝒏𝒈 𝑵𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒂𝒍 𝑨𝒄𝒂𝒅𝒆𝒎𝒚 𝒐𝒇 𝑺𝒑𝒐𝒓𝒕𝒔 𝒂𝒕 𝒏𝒂𝒈𝒕𝒖𝒕𝒖𝒍𝒐𝒏𝒈-𝒕𝒖𝒍𝒖𝒏𝒈𝒂𝒏 𝒅𝒊𝒕𝒐 𝒂𝒏𝒈 𝑫𝒆𝒑𝑬𝒅, 𝒂𝒏𝒈 𝑪𝑯𝑬𝑫, 𝑷𝒉𝒊𝒍𝒊𝒑𝒑𝒊𝒏𝒆 𝑺𝒑𝒐𝒓𝒕𝒔 𝑪𝒐𝒎𝒎𝒊𝒔𝒔𝒊𝒐𝒏, 𝒂𝒕 𝑷𝒉𝒊𝒍𝒊𝒑𝒑𝒊𝒏𝒆 𝑶𝒍𝒚𝒎𝒑𝒊𝒄 𝑪𝒐𝒎𝒎𝒊𝒕𝒕𝒆𝒆,” Prof. De Vera said.
Student Athletes then took their Oath of Sportsmanship led by Fran Yu of Colegio de San Juan de Letran followed by the lighting of the CHED Friendship Games torch spearheaded by the UAAP-Basketball Top Rookie Carl Vincent Tamayo, declaring the Tertiary Games officially open.
The CHED Friendship Games 2022 serves as a preview for the much-anticipated National Tertiary Games, attended by HEIs from NCR and other nearby provinces, with the goal of reviving and revitalizing academic sports in the country under the new normal.
With over eight sports events, the first-ever CHED Friendship Games is expected to run until July 2.