SCUAA athletes salute ‘Fallen 44’ in National Olympics opening
CAGAYAN VALLEY, Philippines - The opening ceremonies of this year’s 8-day State Colleges Universities Athletic Association (SCUAA) National Olympics in the province of Cagayan started with 44 seconds of silence, as prayer for the 44 members of the Special Action Force of the Philippines who were killed during an encounter with Muslim groups in Maguindanao.
Congressman Roman Romulo, the Chairman of the Technical Committee on Higher Education on the House of Representatives led the silence, saying that the bravery of the ‘Fallen 44’ should be an inspiration for all the athletes and youth.
Ready to battle
A reported 4,695 delegates from all-over the Philippines marched in the Opening Ceremonies at the Cagayan Sports Complex in Tuguegarao City.
Juliet Alegrea of Negros Oriental State University in Western Visayas, said their region has high hopes of winning this year’s overall championship.
“Maliit mang kaming region pero hopefully, mananalo kami,” Alegrea said. (We may be a small delegation but hopefully, we’ll still win.)
Alegrea shares the same hope with all other athletes in the country.
All other 16 regions will battle against the National Capital Region (NCR), the defending champion.
The athletic meet is composed of 41 sports and socio-cultural games.
The participating regions are from the Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog, Bicol, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga/ARMM, Northern Mindanao, Southern Mindanao, Central Mindanao and CARAGA, National Capital Region and Cordillera.
Sports and other athletic events will start around 1:30 a.m. today, February 8.
‘Welcome to Cagayan’
The athletes and officials from different universities were welcomed by almost 11,000 crowd during the opening of the athletic event, including the more than 9,000 Physical Education dancers of Cagayan State University.
Cagayan Governor Alvaro Antonio urged the athletes to visit different places in Cagayan.
“We hope to bring you good memories during your stay here,” Antonio said.
Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Commissioner Alex Brillantes, congressmen, mayors and state universities and colleges (SUCs) president were also present in the event.
Meanwhile, Cagayan Governor Alvaro Antonio, who invited Vice President Jejomar Binay, didn't have an answer when asked why Binay snubbed the event. - Rappler.com