As shared by Mr. Roland J. Guadalupe, Jr. on June 21, 2017
Chairman of the Department of Service Physical Education
Mindanao State University-Marawi City

I absolutely believe that learning is a continuous process, something I realized after these past few days.

It is quite funny because when I reached Laguindingan Airport, I was a bit uncomfortable, since it was my first time to travel alone, by plane, going to Manila, the last time I was here, I was with my colleagues. Then, when I reached Manila, the action started right away. The culture, the environment, the lifestyle, the people–it’s all just so different. But the past few days have been amazing. The series of activities that we went through have been life-changing, particularly because I didn’t learn many of these in school.

We had the chance to communicate with some well-known personalities like Mrs. Cynthia Tiu, a very down-to-earth woman whose support also made this experience possible, and some renowned athletes like former Olympic swimmer and PSC Commissioner, Akiko Thomson, 1992 Barcelona Olympics Taekwondo bronze medalist, Stephen Fernandez. Meeting has allowed me to see the many opportunities one can have in sports and the value of having partners who believe in what you do.

I discovered all of these during the series of activities that we had and as a coach who is hungry and thirsty to explore and learn more, I’m very willing and looking forward to contribute to my community–to excite more, to engage more, and to equip more. I have found that this is a calling, that I need to be part of changing the perspectives of my people in MSU-Marawi and Marawi as a whole, in encouraging them and letting them know that getting involved through sports is essential in the development of the area.

In relation to the current events, we people in Marawi, do not want what is happening to our place but we cannot do anything but to pray that in God’s time the war will end and peace will be attained. We want BALLS not BULLETS. We cannot solve the problem by warring against each other but I believe that the involvement in and the power of sports could really make a difference. Through sports, hopefully, we can forget the walls and start building bridges to fill the gaps between our differences. Yes it’s a very gigantic challenge and I know that the journey that I have to face in the near future is full of uncertainty, however, I find comfort in the thought that I can find certainty in the help and support of the MPG family, in achieving our aspirations in sports in MSU-Marawi.

I am looking forward to working with you guys and becoming partners in whatever endeavor that you may have in the future.