July 26, 2022 (8:15 PM)

4 min read


BACK IN THE GAME. AdDU athletes and the Blue Knights mascot light up their ceremonial torches during the Palarong Atenista 2022 Opening Ceremony on July 23. Photo by Jeni Anne Rosario

Reviving the fire in contact sports and socio-cultural activities, the Palarong Atenista finally made its most-anticipated comeback on stage in this year’s face-to-face competitions, with the theme, “Palarong Atenista 2022: Back in the Game” last July 23 at the 4th Floor of the Martin Hall.

Due to the health restrictions of the pandemic, the university had put on hold most athletic activities during the annual Palarong Atenista for the past two years. However, this year’s event marks the return of campus tournaments and festivities which inspired the theme.

“For two long years, the entire Ateneo community was deprived of campus life, most especially the thrill and excitement of sports. Despite the limitations, we all tried to keep sportsmanship alive by bringing back Palarong Atenista through virtual means in the past year,” Palaro Overall Head Joanna Ang told Atenews.

She also expressed how a mere online event cannot fully replace the diverse culture of Atenean sports. With that, it has always been the goal of the student leaders of the Ateneo to bring back Palaro in due time—a promise that the SAMAHAN aimed to deliver as soon as they started the term.

“For the students, especially our athletes, Palarong Atenista is not just a mere pastime. It is an avenue that completes our identity as Ateneans. Bouncing back from yesterday’s frustrations and moving forward with so much hope inspired this year’s Palarong Atenista theme. Welcoming the students #BackInTheGame serves as the university’s first major step in reliving the vibrant campus life we all deserve,” Ang added.

She also shared that more students were involved in preparing and conducting the different Palarong Atenista activities. As the Overall Head, she saw the students’ eagerness to participate in the preparations, aside from the sporting events.

“Seeing the fruit of our hard work during the opening ceremony last July 23 and the first set of games felt very surreal. More than just the magnitude of effort we put into Palaro, being able to give the students an event they deserve after years of being stuck at home is the best feeling ever,” the Palaro Overall Head said.

Samahan Creative Team (SCT) Design Head Caryl Manalo shared the same sentiments as preparing for the Palarong Atenista gave them a chance to bond with the different technical working groups outside the SCT.

Seeing how the SCT was a big part of the event’s actualization, Palarong Atenista Creative Director Leandro Miguel Tupas expressed that this year’s festivities portrayed the creative team’s capabilities to go beyond the usual performance they usually give.

“Since this was our first face-to-face event we have branded since the pandemic, we as a team had a sense of great pride seeing all of our hard work pay off. Our goals as a team have been furthered because now we see the need for us as a creative team to work harder and to push our creative skills to their best capacity,” Tupas shared.

The 2022 Palarong Atenista hoped to offer more spaces for Ateneans to thrive and showcase their talents beyond academics. Additionally, its goal remained to create an environment and interactive experience where everyone can participate.

The Natural Sciences and Mathematics (NSM) cluster and the School of Education (SOE) have teamed up again for this year’s competition. Their team’s “NSMxSOE Lions” collaboration aimed to rise above and land on top in the competition.

According to NSM Representative Elle Gwyneth Cutin and SOE Representative Francis Clark David, it is an honor to work with each other’s clusters as both ranked least in the student population.

Nevertheless, David and Cutin shared how they are excited and looking forward to competing with the various tournaments’ clusters. They see the competition as a chance to show the other teams what they are capable of beyond their academic skills.

“Finally, there is an avenue for us to really show what we can give up to our maximum potential. I’m proud to say that we are here; NSM is here, renewed and exceeding excellence,” Cutin expressed.

SOE Representative David also added that he is proud of what the NSMxSOE Lions have achieved in the past year.

“Proud kaayo ko sa NSM and SOE Lions because since last year, dako among standing ato. We managed to bag top places in different events. With that, we can’t wait to show you guys what we can bring this year.”

The in-campus events of 2022 Palarong Atenista include Basketball, Volleyball, Football, Badminton, Swimming, and Table tennis. On the other hand, online tournaments comprise Valorant, DOTA 2, Mobile Legends, Scrabble, and Chess.

The complete schedule of games and events of Palarong Atenista is up for viewing on its official Facebook page.

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