By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
The Department of Education (DepEd) vowed that it will continue to strive to encourage Filipino learners to be more involved and active when it comes to sports.
DepEd Undersecretary for Legislative Affairs, External Partnerships, and School Sports Tonisito Umali issued the statement after the Philippines bagged a total of nine (9) gold medals and finished 6th in 2018 ASEAN Schools Games (AGS) which was recently held in Malaysia.
“This success is not the ending… in fact, this is just the beginning,” Umali said. “We, at the Department, will continue to strive to encourage our Filipino children to engage in different sports,” he added. DepEd will also start preparing for next year’s ASG which will be held in Semarang, Indonesia.
The Team Philippines ended its 2018 ASG campaign with a total of 36 medals to finish sixth overall among the 10 competing countries on July 26. The country competed in 10 out of 11 events and bagged nine golds, seven silvers, and 20 bronze medals.
This year’s ASG ended with the host country Malaysia emerging in first place with 13 gold, 34 silver, and 32 bronze medals, while Indonesia came in second with 31 gold, 36 silver, and 30 bronze. Thailand (19-21-31), Singapore (13-16-22), and Vietnam (13-8-6) occupied the third, fourth, and fifth spots, respectively. The athletics team was the best performer in the meet team as it contributed six golds, four silvers, and six bronze medals.
Meanwhile, DepEd Assistant Secretary and Palarong Pambansa Secretary General Revsee Escobedo also shared how proud he is of the student-athletes’ accomplishments in the annual games. “The team has proven that indeed, sports is a unifying force that unites and celebrates differences and achievements,” he said.
Runner Jessel Lumapas, a Grade 11 standout of Nazareth School of National University, emerged this year’s most bemedalled athlete for the Philippines with two golds. The 17-year-old Lumapas, CALABARZON’s sprint queen, ruled the 200-m and 400-m girls events at the Mini-Stadium of the National Sports Complex in Bukit Jalil.
Philippine Chef-De-Mission Rizalino Jose Rosales also expressed satisfaction with this year’s results event if the team was five medals short of the 13 it won in last year’s edition in Singapore. “Actually, I am really happy that all events won at least one medal,” he said. “We actually achieved our goal for this year,” he added.
Likewise, Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Commissioner Charles Raymond Maxey also lauded all Filipino student-athletes who competed in Malaysia. “I am very proud of them [because] they represented their country well,” he said. He also reminded the participants, especially those who were not able to win, not to lose hope. “There will always be winners as well as losers in any sport,” he ended.