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When I was invited last August 15 & 16, 2016 at Gen. Santos City, I have witnessed a group of leaders from different sides of Mindanao sharing a common dream – peace through sports.

In the 2 day gathering, I realized that a lot of things are possible if we put our hearts and minds into it. The leaders of the Mindanao Peace Games have shown that limits can be broken if we learn to put together unconditionally much needed resources. The MPG leaders have shown that having a shared goal and aspiration can unify different sporting culture.

I was moved by the MPG leader from Maguindanao – Coach Al Rashid Sendad of Datu Ibrahim Paglas Memorial College. Though the youngest of the group at 24 years old, he carried with him a deeper view of sports. Coach Rashid believes that through sports they will be building new lives; through sports they will overcome what they are facing right now; and through sports they will set the minds of his fellow Maguindanaon that their place is not just a place where war and conflicts are – that it is also a place where peace is abundant because of what we do in sports.

Coach Rashid also mentioned his eagerness to host the Mindanao Peace Games and have the games played at their home town of Datu Paglas, Maguindanao.

With the kind of heart and mind of a young man like Coach Al Rashid, it only proves to show that there is still life during in our darkest time. With all the ups and downs of our lives, we should stand and bounce back for others to know that we will never stand down and will never quit the tests of time.

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(Submitted by Michael Chad Bouffard, OIC, ADDU Grade School Sports Office)