Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Z. Duterte urged cadets to be a role model in discipline and unity as she guested the opening rites of the 2023 ROTC Games Mindanao Leg on Sunday, Aug. 27, at the Joaquin F. Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex.
“Be a role model in discipline. That’s why we are supporting ROTC,” said the 45-year-old Duterte, also an Army Colonel reservist.
Sen. Francis Tolentino expressed gratitude over the presence of the Vice President from the region, saying “It’s truly significant since she is a genuine advocate of youth and sports development through military service.”
“I am hopeful that our shared goals will be achieved, and that ROTC will be a vital force in ensuring that our young people are shaped and formed to protect this nation, promote unity and peace, and to lead with utmost integrity and honor,” added Tolentino about the vice president from Davao City.
Duterte, the eldest daughter of former President “Digong” Duterte, gave P30,000 each of the 11 teams seeing action in the competition as an added boost to their needs.
Over 1,300 cadets from the Philippine Army, Philippine Air Force and Philippine Navy throughout the region are vying for gold in at least seven sports disciplines in four venues with the JFE memorial sports complex as the main venue.
Mayor John M. Dalupe along with Representatives Manuel Jose Dalupe and Khymer Adan T. Olaso and other top local officials led in welcoming the guests and officials.
“It is an honor to stand before you today as we kick off this remarkable Philippine ROTC Games Mindanao Regional Leg, that celebrates not only the spirit of sportsmanship but also the commitment to duty, discipline, and patriotism,” said Philippine Sports Commission chairman Richard Bachmann in a speech read by Mr. Kirsten Evan Regodon, PSC Consultant.
“As we watch our cadet athletes compete over the next few days, let us remember that they are not just representing their schools, but also their communities, their families, and their dreams for a better and more prosperous Philippines. I would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the organizers, coaches, and personnel who have worked tirelessly to ensure the success of these games.”
“Your dedication and passion have brought us to this moment, and we are truly grateful for your efforts. As we declare this Regional Leg officially open, let us embrace the camaraderie that these games inspire and celebrate the shared values that unite us all. Maraming salamat po, at sama-sama nating ipagmalaki na Bida ang Bayaning Manlalaro!,” Bachmann stressed.
In the first Leg in Iloilo City, cadets-athletes from the Philippine Army cornered 25 golds, 25 silvers and 34 bronzes, while the Airmen secured 23-23-22 and 9-9-9 from the Navymen.
The three branches of the AFP have its own separate competition participated by their respective cadets so that there are three golds, silver and bronzes at stake in each of the event in the seven sports disciplines contested in the week-long sports gathering aimed at rediscovering the strength and enthusiasm of the ROTC.
“Sports development is likewise an important aspect of nation-building. Sports can bring people together from different backgrounds and cultures, just as we have been brought here today. It can help promote physical fitness, mental well-being, and social cohesion, helping to create a sense of national identity,” Tolentino, the brainchild of the event added.
“ROTC is a very potent tool for the development of a sense of discipline, teamwork, and patriotism in young people, which can help them become more responsible and productive citizens and leaders of the future,” he went on.
A total of 50 medals are at stake in athletics, 67 in arnis, 12 in kickboxing, 19 in E-sports, 16 in boxing, 9 in basketball and six medals in volleyball.
Action starts in athletics today at the JFEM sports complex while kickboxing begins at the Western Mindanao State University covered court and women’s volleyball at the Zamboanga Peninsula Polytechnic University gym.
Arnis will begin on Wednesday, Aug. 30, at the WMSU bruno gym, 3×3 men;s basketball at the JFEM sports complex/ City Sports Coliseum on Thursday and boxing starts tomorrow at the ZPPU ground. The seventh sports discipline to be contested is E-Sports, which will be conducted online.