By Keziah G. Huelar

CPU Vice President for Student Affairs and Chairman, ILOPRISAA, Rev. Joniel Howard H. Gico highlights  the role of the athletics and cultural competitions in showcasing the best of Iloilo.

Central Philippine University welcomed hundreds of athletes together with their coaches from 51 schools all over Iloilo City as they flocked to the Rose Memorial Auditorium to witness the opening of the 53rd Iloilo Private Schools Athletics Association Sports and Cultural Meet on November 15, 2018.

The invocation was led by Rev. Samuel R. Escobin, Associate Pastor, University Church. It was then followed by the singing of the Philippine National Anthem, led by Ms. Crista S. Huyong, Coordinator, CPU Cultural Affairs Office.

CPU Vice President for Student Affairs and Chairman, ILOPRISAA, Rev. Joniel Howard H. Gico, welcomed the athletes, coaches, and guests to the event. In his speech, Rev. Gico highlighted the role of Iloilo PRISAA in showcasing the sports prowess and competitiveness of the Ilonggo youth: “We are challenged to further develop the athletics skills and the level of performance of our athletes with the aim of training them to be at par to compete internationally… Indeed, this is a tall order but it is possible. This is because from the ranks of PRISAA we have produced athletes that can compete… globally.”

Centralian majorettes welcoming the athletes and coaches from the different schools and universities in Iloilo.

 After which CPU President, Dr. Teodoro C. Robles, in his welcome remarks, encouraged the athletes and coaches to exhibit sportsmanship and unity for the pride of the Province of Iloilo: “You are in the frontline in this competition. We are here because we want to experience sportsmanship, responsibility and interaction with each other because eventually we will be a team [representing the Province of Iloilo].”

 It was then followed by the introduction of the inspirational speaker, Ms. Juliette C. Gayoso, by Rev. Francis Neil G. Jalando-on, Director, CPU Office of Communications, coach of the CPU Golden Lions table tennis team and the recipient of the 2014 Most Outstanding Coach Award.

Gayoso is an alumna of the CPU High School Batch 2009. In 2013, she bagged the National PRISAA Champion for Table Tennis Individual Girls and in 2014, she was recognized as the Most Outstanding Athlete. Gayoso graduated from the university in 2014 with the degree of Bachelor in Elementary Education. In March 2015, she ranked eighth in the Licensure Examination for Teachers.

Inspirational Speaker, Ms. Juliette C. Gayoso, encourages the athletes to be grateful for the skills bestowed to them by God.

In her message, Gayoso shared her experiences as a student-athlete. According to her, the sum of her journey could be expressed as SAD, an acronym that stands for sacrifice, attitude and discipline: “[For] me, I sacrificed my social life for the sake of my sport and I never regretted any of it.” She went on to share about the importance of recognizing the hard work and sacrifices of the all coaches in shaping the attitude and skills of the athletes: “Our coaches are there for a reason. Bear in mind, your coaches have families too, they have a job, and some of them are also teachers. The times they should be resting or spending time with their family, they are at the court, at the table, at the pool, at the mat—at your practice. They are our parents in sports. They are to be treated with respect, gratefulness, and appreciation.”

 Ending her message, Gayoso highlighted the importance of discipline: “What we learn here in sports, we carry on in life. What becomes of us because of sports, we become in life. It is a constant battle. We carry on… the value of sacrifice, attitude, and discipline [and they] will [later serve as] skills [when you] face the daily tournament of living.”

Mr. Alfie Ahmed Diasnes lighting the urn during the opening ceremonies of ILOPRISAA 2018.

 After her message, an intermission was given by the E-Crew. It was then followed by the raising of the ILOPRISAA Flag by the ILOPRISAA officers and the singing of the ILOPRISAA hymn “Alay sa PRISAA” by the Kundiman Chorale of the John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University.

The lighting of the urn was led by Mr. Alfie Ahmed Diasnes, National PRISAA Champion, Taekwondo and Champion, 2018 Jeju World Taekwondo Hanmandang, Jeju Island, South Korea. The oath of sportsmanship was led by Ms. Glaudine C. Troncoso, National PRISAA Champion, Women’s Volleyball Team and MVP, National PRISAA 2018, Tagbilaran, Bohol.

Rev. Gico then declared the opening of the 2018 ILPRISAA Meet 2018.

In his closing remarks, Mr. Edwin C. Laru-an, General Sports Manager, encouraged all the players and coaches to be united in the goal of showcasing the best of Iloilo: “We are here for unity. We are here to choose the best athletes to represent the ILOPRISAA in the higher level. We may be [adversaries] in the game but let us be friends again after the match. We are here to gain more friends.”


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