Written by Kaka Reynaldo O. Mancia, IMCC, Iligan City
Listening, partaking and sharing life stories made me realize my potentials and my capacity to change myself and the Iligan Medical Center College (IMCC) community where I belong. It made me realize that there are a lot of things we can do in IMCC in particular and for Mindanao with the “right kaibigan and kasama”, (Noli Ayo). In my journey as an MPG advocate, there were a lot of realizations which led me to journey more and be with the company of my “Kaka’s”, this is a Maranao term which means elder brother or “kuya” in Filipino.
I was involved with sports when I became a teacher from my former school and at my present school, teaching student-athletes the teachings passed on to me by my former coaches. I was a peace builder during my college life through the arts but realized that sports can be also a way to build peace. I have listened to different advocates of the MPG in La Salle University, Ozamis City, Xavier University, Cagayan de Oro City, Ateneo de Davao University, Davao City, and finally, the Discovery experience at Discovery Suites, Ortigas, Manila.
“If you believe you are the wisest in the room, You are in the WRONG room” – Kaka Noli S. Ayo
This I learned during my 1st MPG experience in La Salle University, Ozamis City, when I asked the question after the sharing of Ms. Gang, Kaka Rebo and Kaka Noli, “Why only women?” When Kaka Noli explained, it was there and then, I met my Kalaro kaibigan kasama.
I thought that as a sports leader in our school I have been doing the good thing. I realized there is a higher and better reason why we play the game. Emptying myself and from my previous learning acquired during my playing years made me embrace the better option why we play the game that is Women Empowerment, Transformational Leadership, and Community and Peace Building activities through sports which I embraced and made as my own lifestyle.
It made me further realize that if I don’t empty myself and pretend that I know everything, I will never grow and develop as a person and my community will suffer. Like a glass, if it is full, it can no longer receive fluids, but if emptied, it will be filled again. As Atty. Victor Africa said in our Discovery experience, “Life is a never ending process of learning.” This is what Kaka Noli shared to us during our MPG Coaches Forum and even in the Discovery experience.
Along the way, I met good people who became my kalaro, kaibigan and kasama, whose stories I listened to and which encourage me to go on with life bringing with me their stories and mine, sharing it to people I met along the way, hoping they would own it and share it to people whom they also met.
“I am a Story” – Kaka Al Rashid M. Sendad of Maguindanao
Everything has a beginning and an end and in between these are meaningful and beautiful stories of its existence. I remembered Kaka Rashid, a 24 year old MPG leader of Maguindanao telling us in one of our sessions during the One Meralco under 14 football invitational held in Ateneo de Davao University to tell our stories.
I looked around the coaches gathered together and realized that indeed each one is beautiful and important because we have our own stories to tell; that will illumine our minds and direct our hearts toward what is good and true. Listening to the beautiful stories brought about by experiences, made my life more meaningful and drove me to strive more to do more for my student-athletes in my own small school.
But listening to the “Supermanoks” of the MPG Forums made me realize that the stories are reflections of who they are in relation to us, the listeners. Their stories do not only help us see things in their own perspective but uniting us towards one common goal and lead us to more friends and companions. In other words, more important than the stories are the persons sharing it because in a very short time being together sharing stories we have become kaibigan and kasama.
I fondly call her “Tita Semone”, a 23-year old beautiful and charming lady, seated far right, during our first session in the Discovery Suites, Ortigas, Manila, shared her expectations during our stay there, said, “to be uncomfortable in a good way.” It took sometime to sink into my mind the meaning of her statement. True enough, I experienced being uncomfortable in a good way during our stay in the Discovery Suites.
It was my very first time to stay in a 5-star hotel with all its amenities; my first time to dine garbed with a coat and tie; my first time to meet “supermanoks” in sports; my first time to wear a bath robe going to the sauna, jacuzzi, and live like a wealthy individual; my first time to scuba dive; my first time in Discovery Suites in Ortigas and in Discovery Primera; all these made me uncomfortable.
To be uncomfortable in a good way is going out of our comfort zone and be uncomfortable in order to produce what is good, beautiful and true. To be uncomfortable in a good way is making our life more meaningful. I went inside a barbecue station here in Iligan City and went to their comfort room and read this; “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” True enough life is a movement, it is not constant; it is flowing like a river, not stagnant. In a pond when you dip your finger into its still water it will produce ripples, a continuous movement in circular manner from your fingertip until the limits of the pond. Along its way all the spaces in the pond will be moved. It is like the people whom you relate to every day, they will be affected by your person and on how you relate with them.
Being “uncomfortable in a good way” will make life move forward and towards an end which produce something good and beautiful.
The Iligan City Tertiary Schools Athletic Association (ICTSAA) started 15 years ago, is composed of 7 schools in Iligan City involved in sports, literary, and musical competitions. Through the years of its existence the idea of the different schools is to become the over-all champion for the season. I experienced two opposing schools fight in order to win and instead of unifying the schools within the city it sometimes brought rivalry among schools.
In our 14th season, I decided to introduce the vision of the Mindanao Peace Games that is Women Empowerment, Transformational Leadership, Community Development and becoming Peace Ambassadors of Mindanao through becoming a Kalaro, Kaibigan, Kasama. This started my becoming uncomfortable in a good way, going out of what is my comfort zone and organized our first ever ICTSAA Coaches and Team Captains Forum which was held in Iligan Medical Center College last March 9, 2017 before our annual games started. I was assisted by two kaibigan and kasama, Emmanuel Noli S. Ayo, the MPG Convenor, and Celina Simone “Tita Simone” E. Jaldon, both from Ateneo de Davao University, Davao City. I was uncomfortable but felt relieved and fulfilled because during our games our coaches and athletes made sure that they are adversaries in court but remain friends after each games.
IMCC Annual Palakasan to 3K Festival
The IMCC celebrate its annual palakasan and foundation celebration. For the past 41 years the sports, literary, music and dance competitions are part of the palakasan activities. The term “palakasan” connotes the struggle to become the strongest among the adversaries or it may connote those who are most valued with.
This year, our 42nd annual celebration, I tried to convince the different Deans of our 10 Colleges and our President to embrace the vision of the Mindanao Peace Games. During our Academic Council meeting I introduced the idea and they agreed to call our annual palakasan to 3k Festival, which means “Kalaro, Kaibigan, Kasama Festival.” After the meeting I presented the idea to our school president, Dr. Royce S. Torres and approved our proposal.
Hence, the IMCC annual palakasan is now renamed 3K festival and its former competitions are now named as; Sports festival; literary festival; music and dance festival; and our Ms. IMCC is now called Festival of Beauties.
When being uncomfortable or going or thinking out of the box, it will always result to good things. Good things will happen when one is uncomfortable because he/she becomes active and dynamic.
MPG COACHES FORUM
IMCC Review Center, August 11-12, 2017
My second experience of being uncomfortable in a good way is the recently concluded MPG Coaches Forum attended by 33 coaches and 67 student-athletes from MSU-Marawi, St. Peter’s College, MSU-IIT, and IMCC. There were also MPG Leaders who attended or visited, to wit: Kaka Wemir of LaSalle University Ozamis City, KKK Joy of St. Vincent College, Dipolog City and the 3 Kaka’s from MSU-Marawi, Gieward, Roland and Padots.
The “Supermanoks” present was Kaka Noli Ayo, Kaka Rebo Saguisag, Jr., KKK Gang Badoy, and Kaka Joseph Gieward Layao who shared stories about the MPG, Sports Leadership, Empowerment and about the Singapore experience respectively.
From the moment of its conception and during the forum that uneasiness and fear engulfed me with the staff. But after its culmination, especially during our sports clinic for children in Iligan City National School of Fisheries, an evacuation center in Iligan City, all my fears and discomfort vanished. A new MPG spirit came in to continue the program, this time with the support of my fellow leaders from the different schools.
As a result of the MPG Coaches Forum, ICTSAA is no longer confined with the different schools in Iligan City but already included MSU-Marawi, thus, it is now known as LITSAA or Lanao Iligan Tertiary Schools Athletic Association. We envision that schools from Lanao del Sur and Lanao del Norte will partake in the wonderful experiences we have had with the guidance of the MPG leaders of Mindanao.
I realized that if we get out of our comfort zones something good and beautiful will happen. I remembered Kaka Noli telling me, “Think out of the box” and “the sharer is more important than his story”, he or she is your kalaro, kaibigan, kasama.
Tickle your mind… discover new things – Fr. Angelo “Angel” R. Buenavides
|I am a person who is in fear of being lost; being lost in a crowd and even being lost in a place where everything is new. I do not venture into new places and have adventures.|
Here comes Fr. Angel, inset down left corner and at my left with bath robe on, whom I met during the One Meralco Football Invitational. We might have vibes because he is a priest and I, almost becoming a priest but I believe this was not the case. I find the childlike person within Fr. Angel, that curiosity to venture into new experiences. I lost that childlike in me, questioning all that is new and trying to find answers to questions that I came across. He taught me to venture into new things and discover its beauty.
It was only hours before we departed to the airport and he knew that there was this sauna and jacuzzi. He told me, “ huwag kang umuwi na hindi mo ito na experience, tara.” It was my first time to drink different German brewed beers and he insisted to taste all. It was my first time to walk around Ortigas to the EDSA Shrine to hear the Eucharist. He was the reason why I had that courage to try scuba diving. It was because of Kaka Fr. Angel gave me that courage to try to do new things and discover its meaning and beauty. With all these experiences with Kaka Fr. Angel lead me to treasure these stories and make my life more meaningful and will always tell everyone that I was once in fear but have overcome it because I have a kaibigan and a kasama.
I remembered kaka Atty. Victor Africa, a 72-year old University of the Philippines professor who still study until today sharing, “Life is a never ending process of learning.”
Kalaro, Kaibigan, Kasama – Mindanao Peace Games (KKK)
During my playing years, I became a student-athlete in the different sports events like Sepak-Takraw in my elementary years; Soccer in my high school years and later baseball, in the school where I was enrolled. Our coach would always tell us to practice well in order to win, win and win. Thus, I practice to compete.
When I received an invitation from Kaka Noli for the under 14 boys football game in Ateneo de Davao University sponsored by One Meralco Foundation, I was astounded because Kaka Noli informed me that our student-athletes will memorize and present the poem “Adversary”. I read the poem several times to the point of memorizing it. Let me share it here;
You are my adversary, but you are not my enemy. For your resistance gives me strength. Your will gives me courage. Your spirit ennobles me. And though I aim to defeat you,
should I succeed, I will not humiliate you. Instead, I will honor you. For without you, I am a lesser man.
This poem embodies our vision of the Mindanao Peace Games, kalaro, kaibigan, kasama. This was the turning point of what I believe in sports, it is not the winning but gaining friends and companions. When my football team played and the score was 16-0, next 12-0 and so on and so forth, I did not feel bad knowing that my players gained friendship and good values in sports and in life.
Kaka Victor Africa, shared during our Discovery experience, “after the applause, dies down and after receiving the medal or trophy, what has been gained? The greatest motive of a player is to conquer himself or herself.” Going beyond pride, glory and fame is the real motive of an athlete.
My Mindanao Peace Games experiences lead me to gain kaibigan and kasama. This was exemplified when they visited me during our 1st MPG coaches Forum in Iligan City. I know that my friends and companions were free during the forum will run to me and support me in my endeavor as an MPG advocate.
Through our friendship and companionship I learned the value of honesty, integrity, respect, enjoying the games as kalaro, that value of sharing and taking care of the other as kaibigan and the value of responsibility as kasama.
“Bakit nga ba ako nagpapakatanga? Kung ako tanga, bakit may mga tanga ring katulad ko na sumasama sa akin?” Kaka Atty. Rebo Saguisag, Jr., UAAP Commissioner, shared during the 1st Iligan City Coaches Forum. He shared this because before coming to share his idea on sports leadership, fellow lawyers would ask him, “Magkano ba ang kita mo dyan?” When he shared his time, talent and himself he was not looking forward to how much he will earn but to share the meaning of being kalaro, kaibigan and kasama. I was so touched with what he shared and I admired him so much, walang tulog dahil kumuha ng first flight to Laguindingan airport and after lunch has to rush to Manila because he has meetings. I admired so much his commitment and the commitments of my other MPG leaders.
Finally, I will continue to empower my coaches and student-athletes to become transformed leaders in the future and peace advocates in our own school and community with the hope that this generation will pass it on to the next generation in order to achieve peace in Mindanao and in the Philippines. As KKK Gang Badoy shared, “May pag-asa pa ba ang Pilipinas? Ang sagot ay mayroon, dahil ANDITO AKO.”
Cheer Don’t Jeer!