PUERTO PRINCESA – The Indigenous Games concluded on Sunday without pomp and pageantry, just plain and simple yet honorable for the nine participating tribes of Palawan.
Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Commissioner and Chairperson for the IP Games led the government sports agency in giving tribute to the tribe leaders, participants, and local officials for ensuring that the heritage and traditions of the Filipino minorities will not be forgotten even in the age of internet and social media.
“Successful po tayo. Ito po ay dahil sa pagtutulungan ng lahat. Let’s continue to help them preserve their culture and sports. Ipagpapatuloy natin ito, dahil eventually makatutulong ito sa ating pagtuklas ng talento na maaring maging kinatawan ng kanilang lalawigan o maging sa national level,” said Gaston during the closing and awarding ceremony in the two-day event at the well-maintained Ramon V. Mitra Sports Complex.
The Agutaynen tribe proved their skills in hunting as they won the event in Pana and Sibat. The duo of Allan Abela and Ivanhoe Camining of Agutaynen beat their rivals from Tagbanua Central and Batak, while Camining became a double gold winner claiming the Sibat event against Benny Cuyao of Tagbanua Central and Tabdolanen’s Bennet Aranas
Palaw’an tribe composed of Aprilito Mastala and Dudy Indaya claimed the Supok crown against Batak, while Batak made their skills unnoticed in dominating the Santik event.
Cuyunan was the fastest in Pagbayo sa Palay finishing in four minutes and 08.89 seconds over Cuyunan,(04:08.89, Palaw-an (4:30.25), and Agulayen (4:36.65). The inland people of Cuyonon were also a force to reckon with in the Takbo event, sweeping the men’s and women’s relay.
“Nakita natin yung kanilang dedication to win for their tribes. Kahit nakapaa pa yan ang bibilis tumakbo.Alam kong mas mapapayabong pa natin ang mga talent ng mga ito in the future. Hindi tayo magtatapos dito, next year puwede tayo sigurong mag-organized sa tatlong provinces particularly sa Luzon area,” added Gaston, who was assisted here by fellow Commissioners Edward Hayco and bowling great Bong Coo.
PSC Chairman Richard Bachmann and Commissioner Walter Torres were also on hand on the opening day on Saturday. They also had a dinner meeting with Palawan Mayor Lucilo Bayron to explore the possibility of more collaboration, particularly in grassroots sports development.
The former PBA star and Commissioner in the Professional Sports (GAB) said preparatory talks have already been made with the officials of the Province of Ilocos Sur led by Gov. Jeremias ‘Jerry’ Singson.
Through PSC national coordinator Edwin Llanes, the province of Ilocos Sur already submitted a ‘letter of intent’ to host the IP Games next year as consultation with the agencies concerned already at works.