October 25, 2019 (11:56 PM)

3 min read


MPG PRESSCON. Coach Rey Mancia of the Iligan Medical Center College discusses the rationale behind the all-women principle of MPG. Photo by Rea Jean Cabahug

Zamboanga City— The 5th Mindanao Peace Games (MPG) welcomed over 500 delegates from 14 participating schools all over Mindanao, marking its highest number of delegates in five years.

The said delegates consisted of coaches and athletes.

According to Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU) College Sports Officer Bemi Garcia Jr., there is an increase in delegates because five more schools joined the MPG.

“So far, we started with nine schools. But by invitation kase, controlled ng MPG group kung sino papasukin kase they’re creating a culture different from any other tournament. Now there are 14 schools,” he said.

This year’s participating schools include Xavier University of Cagayan de Oro, Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Colleges of General Santos City, Holy Trinity College of General Santos, St. Joseph Institute of Technology, Father Saturnino Urios University of Butuan, University of Southeastern Philippines, and San Pedro College of Davao.

The other schools are Ateneo de Davao University, Datu Ibrahim Paglas Memorial College– Maguindanao, Mindanao State University of Marawi, La Salle University Ozamiz, Iligan Medical Center College, and Mindanao Autonomous College Foundation Corporated- Basilan.

Basketball captain Gianne Kathleen S. Dela Cruz of the AdZU Lady Agilas, a first-timer in MPG, explained that she wanted to experience and at the same advocate the purpose of MPG.

“I want also, in a simple way, [to] be an advocate of spreading the reason, the purpose, of Mindanao Peace Games. Hindi lang siya sa Mindanao Peace Games- you can do it in other things by showing other people na kalaro kita, hindi kalaban,” she shared.

As a delegate of the Mindanao Leadership Summit for Athletes (MLSA) last August, Dela Cruz believes in MPG’s value for peace and women empowerment.

“I met these empowering women of Mindanao. I witnessed the differences of religion, culture, sports…pero naging close kami,” she said.

For Mary Margarette Baang, a previous MPG player and now coach of the AdDU grade school volleyball team, MPG served as her foundation and inspiration to lead her team.

 “In this way, I can show to the people na a woman can lead a whole group of men…[because] ang coaches sa amua, sa junior high, composed of men. Men coaches jud ang naa,” she said.

When asked why MPG focuses on women empowerment, AdDU Athletics Director Noli Ayo answered that they wanted to encourage women to lead in the sports scene.

 “The reason why we want also to focus on women is because iilan lang ang female coaches sa Mindanao,” he explained.

Set to be a four-day event, MPG started on the 25th and will end on the 28th of October. This year’s host school is Ateneo de Zamboanga University.

End the silence of the gagged!

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