July 26, 2020 (3:27 PM)

4 min read


SPEAK TO ENCOURAGE. Enchong Dee, 3X UAAP MVP, former National Athlete and Actor, emphasizes to utilize student-athletes and coaches’ voices to inspire others to move and think critically especially towards issues that impact the society during a webinar conducted by AdDU College Athletics Council, July 25.

Former national team swimming representative Enchong Dee encouraged student-athletes and coaches present in the recently concluded webinar organized by Project KKKK, “Contributing to Community Building in time of the Pandemic” to raise their voices for inspiration despite experiencing sports suspension due to the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Initiated by the Mindanao Peace Games (MPG) through the three Jesuit schools in Mindanao, the Ateneo de Davao (AdDU), Ateneo de Zamboanga (AdZU) and Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan, Project KKKK or Kalaro, Kaibigan, Kasama, Kakwentuhan conducts a weekly hour-long ‘kwentuhan’ to gather and reconnect athletes and allow them to share and interact online amid the health crisis.

Three-time UAAP MVP Dee, who was invited as guest speaker emphasized his passion and love for swimming which made him realize that he needed to give back to the community. In this time of crisis, he believes speaking up about social issues has never been more crucial.

“We need to speak out especially if we see something wrong. I urged you guys to speak out but when you speak out, speak intelligently, speak in an encouraging manner and speak respectfully. And this doesn’t apply only for the country or what’s happening right now, you can do it in your own sport,” says Dee. 

Dee also urged the student-athletes and coaches to use their sport as a tool to influence and reach out to other people. 

“We want to prove to people that we are not just playing in our sport. We have brains, we can speak out. Sometimes, hindi natin alam kung ilang tao o bata na ang na-iinspire natin,” he stated.

The actor has created his own advocacy named Handog Palangoy ni Enchong that focuses on teaching kids and young swimmers to also give back to the swimming community. Dee said he was inspired to pursue the initiative by his late coach.

“Handog Palangoy is supposed to be ‘Handog Palangoy ni Coach Kaloy’ but dahil nga we want to encourage a lot of people so ginawa naming Handog Palangoy ni Enchong. And this is my way of giving back to the swimming community because a huge part of who I am right now really is from swimming,” explains Dee. 

“Parang it’s irresponsible of me not to give back when most of the things that I have and most of the part that I am came from swimming. And I wanna keep inspiring the younger athletes that if this could happen to me, then it could happen to you guys.” 

Ren Asilum, one of the event facilitator and a chess player from AdDU, stated that she would grab the chance to serve the student-athletes to fulfill her social responsibilities.

“In this pandemic, I don’t have a reason to say no in doing initiatives for my fellow athletes because I believe I have all the time to do it. As an athlete, I can also contribute by not forgetting my social responsibilities, by involving myself in leadership and change management through sports,” shares Asilum. 

Meanwhile, Aira Lagua, a basketball player of the AdDU Lady Knights, mentioned that she should take the responsibility as a student-athlete to raise the morale of her teammates, co-athletes, and coaches to continually give out support.

“As a student-athlete, I take it as my responsibility to be able to uplift the morales of my co-student athletes, my teammates, and even my coaches. For the past months, we are stuck in our homes and face our gadgets all day, waiting for news,” says Lagua. 

“I believe the very first step in community-building is giving out the support that the community needs. And no one can give such support when no one acts at will and with passion. It is by actively interacting with them online that I am able to show my sincere support to them,” she added. 

The program will continue to invite men and women in sports for their next talk series which will happen every Saturday at three o’clock to give inspirational and motivational talk to the MPG athletes wherein they can also share their stories through their breakout session activity.

End the silence of the gagged!

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